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Compass, one of our Youth Assist Programs (YAP), matches youth ages 12+ with a college student mentor to encourage social interactions, teach positive character traits and help youth live a drug free and healthy life. Each week pro-social activities promote positive identity and values, social competencies, wellness and commitment to living healthy. Compass is truly a great opportunity for youth to grow and develop with the help of a positive young-adult role model.

Mentors and youth will have ample opportunities to bond whether through studying, participating in fun activities, or just hanging out and having a conversation. The majority of enrolled youth have expressed that they are especially excited for the chance to spend time with a young adult that really cares about them. We all know it can be difficult for adolescents and older teenagers to share what they are feeling, but having an adult who is not a parent or a teacher can help them open up.

The youth are not the only ones to benefit from this mentoring program. The SUNY Cortland college students will gain great experience as they prepare for careers in Psychology, Social Work, and other human services fields. The opportunity to work and interact one-on-one with another person, especially a child, can provide a chance for them to put theory into practice.

Our next session of Compass begins February 7th and will run for a total of 10 weeks, on Tuesday nights from 6:30-8pm on the SUNY Cortland campus. Compass is a free program, so spots fill up fast!

To register or for more information contact Jennifer Sylstra at (607) 756-8970 x 260 or email