January 28, 2022

On today's show, Adrian and Ethan discuss the importance of a mentor to our youth. Then we look a two kids working to make a difference.

Kids thrive when they have caring and supportive adults in their lives. Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter.

While all children and youth can benefit from a quality mentoring relationship, at-risk kids realize the biggest benefits.

While the benefits are clear, one in three young people grow up without a mentor outside their family.

A study conducted by North Carolina State University showed that youth from disadvantaged backgrounds are twice as likely to attend college when they have a mentor, particularly a teacher. It also showed that less than half of disadvantaged students have any adult mentor and that only seven percent named a teacher as a mentor.

We can always count on kids to see the issues and set out to make a difference. Today we continue with our look at the leaders of Giving Tuesday Spark…

JAYDEN PEREZ - Age 13, New Jersey

Since the age of 8, Jayden has been spreading kindness. From helping the people, children and pets after the hurricane struck Puerto Rico and Florida. Jayden has also been a motivator speaker on Anti-bullying.

Jayden then went on to design his own shirt called “From The Bottom of My Heart” which became the Logo for his 501c Non-Profit Organization. Its mission is to provide toys, clothes, food and necessities to children, families, front line workers and pets around the world affected by natural disasters, the pandemic, or living in shelters. They serve individuals and families and the community in a time of need. Their goal is to inspire and make a difference in many lives. To alleviate human suffering by bringing a smile and joy thru the difficult times.

MICHAEL PLATT - Age 15, Bowie, Maryland

Michael is a 12-year-old baker, business owner, social entrepreneur and food justice advocate.

Michael has been baking since he was 9 years old but has been interested in the challenges of inequality since he learned about the historic March on Washington at age 6.

Inspired by a pair of TOMS shoes he received as a present, Michael decided that he would begin a baking business with a 1 for 1 model. From the beginning of Michael’s Desserts, for every dessert he sells, he donates one to people experiencing homelessness, living in domestic violence shelters or transitional housing.

He also launched a non-profit P.L.L.A.T.E. - which stands for Power, Love, Learning, and Access To Everyone. They provide non-perishable, healthy snack packs for kids who may be food insecure so they can have easily accessible + healthy snacks with them, right at their fingertips.