12. Establish a Groundbreaking Statewide Mentorship Program That Targets One Million Mentorship Hours Annually
Our seniors are an amazing source of knowledge, skills, and wisdom, but we have few programs that deliberately seek ways to invest this wealth of knowledge. At the same time, in today’s increasingly lonely and secluded world, our seniors often suffer from social isolation and poor quality of life as a result.
The Franchot administration will create a groundbreaking, statewide mentorship program that seeks to connect our seniors with opportunities to support early childhood and elementary school programming,as well as career mentorship for high school students and young adults through partnership with non-profits like Junior Achievement. This will be an investment in community building that will improve outcomes for our youth and quality of life for seniors. For example, a Franchot administration will:
Facilitate at least one million mentoring hours by the end of his first term.
Propose a tax incentive for seniors to be applied to retiree income, in order to encourage participation.
By increasing mentorship participation, this program will ensure that participating students have access to multiple mentors, a recommended approach.
The research about the power of mentorship is clear. Mentees gain valuable insight and knowledge and go on to perform better both in and out of school. Senior citizens participating in mentorship programs reduce loneliness and improve their quality of life, reduce ageism in society, and gain opportunities to learn from their mentees as well.