New mentoring program for Binghamton city youth

By Kelly McCarthy

December 4, 2013 Updated Dec 4, 2013 at 7:40 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The city of Binghamton finds out it's not providing adequate youth mentoring services, a result of information gathered through Blueprint Binghamton's comprehensive plan.

Youth agencies, City Council, and local college students are among community members working together to come up with new mentoring options.

One program called "Mentor Now" was created in response to the Blueprint's findings. It's goal is to team every child with a mentor in the community.

"It's not about mentoring those who may be at risk, it's about mentoring all of our children," said Colleen Wagner, city of Binghamton Youth Bureau Director, "Just because they may be doing well in school doesn't necessarily mean there isn't an area that they would like to be mentored on to further their aspirations for a career, just help with that guidance."

The program will focus on peer mentoring and career mentoring for students.

"I'd like to be able to go to local businesses and area corporations and say we're not here for money," said Mark Ward, Community Liaison of Binghamton City Schools, "We're here for your help, could you mentor some of our kids."

Leaders of the Mentor Now program are using seminars and community forums to find ways to improve graduation rates, create a safer community, and increase community involvement.