Ted and Lucy Prettyman, mentors in the Youth and Families with Promise (YFP) Youth at Risk mentoring program, have been a positive influence on the lives of youngsters who are struggling with difficulties at home, school and other areas of their lives. When the YFP mentoring program was introduced in Wayne County, the Prettymans agreed to mentor two boys who are brothers. The boy’s mother had left the home and a single father who was having emotional problems as well as difficulty finding a job that adequately supported his family was raising them.
The boys were recommended for the program by their school principal. They were both behind academically and socially. They needed closer supervision with homework and having the Prettymans in their lives would lend them emotional support and help teach them basic living skills.
The Prettymans set up a regular time for homework and reading. They ensured that the boys had adequate rest and good nutrition. They showed the boys how to launder their own clothes. They took the boys horseback riding, four wheeling and hiking and enrolled them in a community-wrestling program. The boys’ father was included in every activity in which he was able to participate, including dinners and celebrations. Their grandmother and their schoolteachers have reported progress in school, behavior, responsibility and relationships.
The YFP mentoring program asks that mentors spend at least one hour each week with the children with whom they work. They are to establish a caring relationship, help youth get involved with a positive group such as 4-H, provide tutoring and help with homework, emphasized personal reading, help youth build interpersonal skills and relationships and help them and their families in giving service to others as well as be involved in wholesome recreation. Lucy and Ted Prettyman far exceeded a one-hour a week involvement. They have built a positive relationship with the boys that will hopefully impact the success of their family, social and work life.