• Inspiring young people to engage with media in
    thoughtful & creative ways that support well-being.

What’s New & Noteworthy at Media Power Youth

The Power of Mentorship

Summer is here! With it comes sunshine and the promise of freedom that many students, and parents alike, yearn for. It’s a time when the basketball court comes alive with the rhythmic beat of endless pick-up games. The lake hums with joyful cheers, awesome splashes, and memories that last a lifetime. Kids are free to hang out with friends until the sun starts to set and the street lights flicker on.

It’s a great time to take a moment, grab a freeze-pop, and reflect: “In what ways do I impact the lives of others?” At Media Power Youth, it’s our mission to ask this question, not only of ourselves, but of others too! Through our media creation programs, we act as mentors, supporting youth through their journey of self-discovery and greater self-confidence.

Meeting Youth Where They’re At

We know first hand the lasting impact mentorship can have on the life of a young person. Our Program Assistant, Tom, has his own experience with being a mentee. He says: “I owe a huge debt to my high school mentor. He met me where I was at. He listened to my problems. He pushed back when I needed to loosen up. He never expected anything in return. He showed me that my sensitivity was a strength – not a weakness.”

When Tom joined Media Power Youth, we were engaged in after-school mentorship sessions in partnership with The Friends Program in Concord, New Hampshire. Creating a safe space for twelve middle schoolers, we explored what makes a good friend, our values, and how to advocate for our well-being. Our team members became trusted adults who shared their experiences navigating tricky situations. We helped youth participants envision how they could stay true to themselves while managing common social dilemmas encountered both online and off.

After high school and seeing the power of a good mentor, Tom felt compelled to make a difference. He joined City Year, an AmeriCorps program, where he dedicated two years to serving elementary students in Manchester, New Hampshire. There he learned about ‘Ubuntu’, a Zulu word that translates to: ‘I am a person through other people; my humanity is tied to yours.’ 

The Proven Impact of Mentorship

Many research studies have shown that the quality of our relationships has a direct impact on our mental health. In 2022, Children and Youth Services Review published a study of a Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Three-fourths of youth participants (75.4%) mentioned that having a mentor helped them develop coping skills. The level of depressive symptoms experienced by these mentees during the program was significantly less than those experienced by youth who did not have the benefit of a mentoring program during that same time period.

When we mentor, we join a network of people dealing with many of the same giant issues that otherwise feel overwhelming – community health, substance misuse prevention, homelessness, and food insecurity. Students, just as much as adults, feel the impact of these systemic challenges while also navigating the ups and downs of adolescence. Adult mentees and community leaders can help young people develop their internal compass and build their resilience so they can stand tall in the face of adversity. 

If you feel inspired to make an impact this summer, luckily enough, mentorship opportunities are abundant! You can take the plunge and dedicate a year to service, volunteer for local non-profits like the Friends Program, or even take your cousin out for ice cream! Mentoring at its core is simple– meeting someone where they are and building upon their foundation. All it takes is one question: “How was your day?”

To learn more about current volunteer opportunities with Media Power Youth, contact our Executive Director, Heather Inyart. She can be reached at heather.inyart@mediapoweryouth.org or by phone at (603) 222-1200. Heather would be happy to set up an exploratory call to talk more about how we can team up to serve New Hampshire youth.