Note: The Nevada Appeal, with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada Mentor Center, are honoring local mentors in January, National Mentor Month.
Lisa Davis knows firsthand the power that investing in the life of a young person can have to the community.
As the D.A.R.E. officer for the Carson City Sheriff's Office, she works with youth every day, and has been mentoring a brilliant teenager named Ema for three years.
Mentoring is something that fits into the plan of the sheriff's department perfectly, Lisa says.
"Carson City Sheriff's Office has made it a priority to build positive relationships and provide prevention education with the youth in our community. In fact, it is Sheriff Ken Furlong's goal that every child know at least one of his officers by their first name," she said. "Building a positive relationship with youth is an investment in our future. The old saying, 'No investment, no return' holds very true when speaking of youth."
She continued, "If we are going to build strong leaders for the future then youth need guidance, positive role models and positive experiences with adults, including officers. Education and prevention is an investment into the lives of our young people that can have positive, long lasting results.
"Our children formulate their personalities and habits in their early years. As teenagers and young adults, life experiences expand as they grow and accept more responsibilities. Youth who have had limits set tend to do better than those who have not had sufficient guidelines and boundaries set for them."
Lisa's mentee Ema is a poised and intelligent girl who has helped Lisa to run annual events like the Spaghetti Cops and Kids Dinner, as well as the D.A.R.E. conference. Ema and Lisa have formed a friendship that is a perfect example of the power of mentoring.
Lisa explains her dedication to the program by saying, "I chose to join the Mentor Center because of the unique understanding they have of our Carson City community. The strength of the Mentor Center is that it is locally based, thus they already know many of our citizens and the needs of our families.
"The Mentor Center and the Boys & Girls Club actually mentored me so that I was able to successfully work in this community. I greatly appreciate the time and guidance they invested in this program. Personally, it would be a conflict of interest for me to join any other organization!"
• Bridget Gordon is the outreach specialist for the Boys & Girls Clubs Mentor Center.
You can help
To become a mentor for a local youth, contact the Mentor Center at 775-445-3346, mentor.wnc.edu, or www.bgcwn.org. Find out more at www.facebook.com/mentorcenter.