WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Youth Services System held a dinner at Generations on Thursday night in honor of the adults who participate in their Youth Mentoring Network.

This program provides children with a strong, professionally supported one-to-one relationship that enhances their lives. Children between the ages of six and 17 are eligible for the program.

“It’s helped me a lot because my grandma has a bad back and she’s always sitting in bed,” said Janaeah, a participant in the program. “(My mentor) has done a lot for me because I get to have fun and spend time with her.”

Studies show that youth matched with a mentor are more confident, do better in school, get along better with family and friends, and are more likely to stay away from drugs and alcohol.

“I grew up in the valley and it’s not an easy time to be a kid, so our program is really invaluable in that since just giving kids opportunities they wouldn’t have and being a resource for families,” said Youth Mentoring Network program director Chanler Long.

For more information on the Youth Mentoring Network, call (304) 218-2857