The following is a republished press release and not an article written by The Cortland Voice … to submit a community announcement, email Peter Blanchard at [email protected].
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CORTLAND, N.Y. — Members of SUNY Cortland’s national championship baseball team are proving to be champions off the field as well. And the opportunity is there for you to do the same.
The players recently made a pledge to mentor local youths as part of an effort to match adult role models with approximately 80 community children and teens on the waiting lists of three Cortland area agencies.
The team will look to initiate a two-person effort, which would involve two student-athletes from different teams mentoring a local youngster during the offseason. The team also plans to offer a special clinic in April for its children as well as others on the program’s waiting list.
The #80for80 campaign is a community effort launched in conjunction with Mentoring Month in January. It is led by three community agencies that run mentoring programs in collaboration with Cortland Area Communities That Care. The groups aim to grow quality mentoring experiences not just in January but beyond.
“Many meaningful, far-reaching mentorship programs involving the College already take place, but a growing need for positive role models always will exist,” said SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum. “This is a wonderful cause that I hope our campus community members will consider supporting far into the future.”
Roughly 100 local youngsters currently benefit from Cortland Community Mentors, a three-team coalition that formed five years ago and includes the Cortland YWCA, Cortland Prevention Resources and Access to Independence.
With just a few hours of quality time each week, mentors can fill important roles as motivators, supporters, role models and friends. Research shows that at-risk youth are 55 percent more likely to enroll in college when they meet regularly with a mentor. They’re also far more likely to someday volunteer as mentors themselves and much less likely to skip school or use drugs.
People interested in mentoring can learn more about the benefits and how to sign up online. Questions about the effort can be directed to Cynthia Guy, the community innovation coordinator for SUNY Cortland’s Institute for Civic Engagement, at 607-753-4270.
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