SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – For more than three decades a local nonprofit has been reaching out to at-risk youth by providing mentors. To date, 2,000 young people have been mentored by volunteers through Friends For Youth. Yet, even with that impressive number, Recruitment Coordinator Jonathan Cowgill said more than 60 kids remain on the waiting list.

KCBS’ Connie C. Kim talks to Jonathan Cowgill of Friends For Youth:

Mentoring means hanging out with a young person for a few hours a week, Cowgill explains. This could mean seeing a movie together, playing video games, or taking a hike, he adds.

As January is National Mentoring Month, Friends For Youth is actively looking for more adults to get involved.

“This is a community responsibility,” Cowgill emphasized. “We have more than 60 youth right now waiting for mentors and these are young people that don’t have support in their lives. Maybe they’re being raised by a grandmother, at risk of gang involvement, struggling in school, or doing poorly in terms of their grades… And they’re waiting for a friend. They all want to be a part of this program.”

The commitment of a mentor is hanging out with a youth for three hours a week.

“It’s really a simple task… as long as it takes to watch a movie. If you have that you can make a major difference in the life of a young person.”

To find out how you can get involved in mentorship go to

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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