Special/Signature Issues » ii

16 Under 16 2010

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Along the way somebody forgot to teach these kids the word “can't.” They are multi-talented, ambitious, kind and inter-connected with their communities.

They are excellent athletes, academics and stewards of goodwill. They volunteer their time, organize fundraisers and give 110% to whatever they set their minds.

It's obvious these kids are heroes to many, so we asked them: "If you could be a super hero for a day, what would be your superhero name and what would be your special power?"

Their answers are a testament to their fearlessness and generosity.

Mentoring Makes a Difference

Every year, Style Weekly's 16 Under 16 program reveals Richmond's most talented kids whose devotion to academics, community service and leadership put them in a league apart from their peers. But behind every outstanding child we recognize is an outstanding adult, or team of adults, helping these kids reach their full potential. The support from parents and teachers can take a child far in life. But sometimes, it's the help of another leader or role model who inspires them to reach new heights and overcome obstacles to achieve success. Based on data provided by Virginia Mentoring Partnership, estimates suggest that 150,000 children and adolescents in Virginia could benefit from being matched with a mentor.

This year Style Weekly teamed up with Virginia Mentoring Partnership to encourage the community and those touched by the stories of our 16 Under 16 to reach out to children in need of a mentor. Mentoring a child can improve their academic performance, improve self-esteem and reduce negative behaviors. Studies show that youth who participate in mentoring relationships experience better school attendance, are less likely to engage in risky behaviors like substance abuse, gang and youth violence and have more positive social attitudes and relationships with peers and parents.

Virginia Mentoring Partnership provides customized training for about 4,000 mentor/tutor volunteers annually along with best practices training for mentoring program operators. Since 1995, Virginia Mentoring Partnership has prepared more than 23,000 volunteers across the Commonwealth for their roles as mentors and tutors and has provided hundreds of organizations with technical assistance (primarily for free). If you are interested in becoming a mentor or starting a mentoring program, contact Virginia Mentoring Partnership today and find out how you can get started making a difference in a child's life.

Style Weekly would like to thank all of the parents, teachers, counselors, community leaders and mentors who took the time to nominate an outstanding child in their life. Thank you for making a difference.

Writer: Rosanna Tropp
Photographers: Scott Elmquist and Scott Misturini
Program Coordinator: Tonie Stevens
Page Layout: Chris Mason and Jason Sullivan
Web Layout: Colby Rogers and Jason Sullivan

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