This is a mentoring project designed to connect youth in the Baton Rouge community involved in athletics with a college athlete, professional athlete or retired athlete who shares skills and a passion for a specific sport. The concept is based on the idea that many young people today look to sports super stars as role models from a far, but never truly experience the real effects of having a real life athlete mentor to model the appropriate work ethic, character or just one-on-one interactions with someone who can attest to the real journey of an athlete. It is our goal to team girls and boys in the Baton Rouge community with an athlete in the same sport they play. The mentors will be paired by same sex. Girl with girl and boy with boy in order to allow the healthy development of a wholesome mentoring relationship. Many young athletes deal with not only the problems of competition in the sport, but self-esteem issues, peer pressure, academic challenges, pressure to use drugs or performance enhancers to be better and many other issues that athletes deal with on a daily basis in order to compete.
As a student athlete myself, it has been essential to my athletic development to have other players and trainers who have been mentors for me not just on the football field but in every aspect of my life. The program is named "I A.M." "A" representing athlete and "M" representing Mentors because that is who we are. and our catch phrase either says we are giving back or paying forward because wse have not yet reach the epitome of our success as mentors. Mentors have been recruited from local universities and through local gyms where many college and professional athletes workout. Mentors have agreed to commit no less than one year to a young athlete. However, it is our goal to nuture the mentor-mentee relationship through weekly on-on-one planned/unplanned activities to foster a relationship that transcends the youth athletes tenure beyong high school and even college. College athletes will receive community service hours for their commitment since many college athletes must have a certain number of community service hours to graduate.
It is our goal to enhance a youth athjletes life in all aspects by partnering them with a successful, positive, committed mentor who understands that it is our reponsibility to pass it on.