The young people involved in the program are referred by various community and school sources, as well as by parents or guardians.
Adult volunteer mentors provide the youths with one-on-one time, at least eight hours each month for one year, in activities that build self-esteem, strong character and friendship, helping the youth to strengthen times at home, at school and in the community.
In addition to one-on-one time spent together, the program also provides opportunities throughout the year to participate in group activities. These include beach clean-ups, bowling, fishing trips, etc. These activities are not only great networking opportunities for the volunteers, but also help the youths to improve their social skills.
Local businesses, individuals, and civic organizations help make a difference by providing donated or discounted food and/or activities for Friends of Youth mentor & youth matches. For the past several years, the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island has provided free admission for mentors & youths (when the mentor shows his/her Friends of Youth Id card). The aquarium is a great place for mentors and youths to spend quality time together while learning more about the world around them at the same time!
Maylon White, director of the NCARI accepts recognition by Bonnie Bennett, DCFY, as Aquarium staffs show appreciation for the recognition.