Reach & Rise® Mentoring Program

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please fill out the application below and also contact Mike Abrams at 618-233-1243 or


The Gateway Region YMCA is pleased to offer Reach & Rise® Mentoring Program, a national YMCA program that is committed to youth development by empowering kids and teens in our communities to help them achieve and reach their full potential.

The program is designed for youth ages 6 to 17 who could benefit from a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult. These children are matched with adult mentors who are recruited and trained by the Y to provide personal mentoring services and create safe, healthy, and meaningful relationships with youth. The match will provide mentors and mentees the opportunity to participate in service projects, field trips, and other fun activities. The types of relationships created in this program are important to the development of children because research demonstrates youth facing challenges are more likely to succeed with the support of a positive role model.


Mentors are volunteers who are at least 21 years of age, with varied cultural, educational, and professional backgrounds, who wish to make a positive impact on the self-esteem of young people in the Gateway Region. Mentors commit to spending 1 hour per week with their mentee for a full year. The Y is committed to ensuring a safe and caring environment for its youth and will conduct face-to-face screenings as well as provide 15 hours of training to give mentors the tools they need before being matched with a mentee.


The Reach & Rise® Mentoring Program serves young people from a wide range of ethnic, socioeconomic, and family backgrounds in the Gateway Region. The youth are referred to the program because they face a variety of challenges including low self-esteem, poor academic progress, peer difficulties, family conflict, and/or poor decision making. The are usually referred byparents, school staff, YMCA staff and staff members at other community-based organizations. Y staff will work with the mentors to connect them with children in communities which they are most passionate about serving.

As part of a national model, the Gateway Region YMCA is one of 38 Ys offering the program. Evaluation results have shown the following positive outcomes for the participating youth:

  • Improved ability to express feelings
  • Improved school grades
  • Improved ability to get along with others
  • Increased involvement in school
  • Increased expectations for what they can achieve

If you know a child who may benefit from this program, contact Mike Abrams at 314-306-5540 or