In 1997, Orv Krieger founded MentorKids USA to address the needs of at-risk youth in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area by matching them with caring Christian adults. These youth either had a parent who was or had been incarcerated, experienced trouble with the law, had significant school problems, lived in poverty, part of a dysfunctional family or was developing problems with drugs and/or alcohol.
Throughout the history of the organization, Church Partnerships have played a major role by providing mentors, prayers, volunteers and financial support.
Mentors commit time each week to be a friend and role model for these selected mentees. The mentor offers concrete expressions of unconditional love and support to the mentee and the two participate in activities designated to build friendship, trust and constructive values.
In 2010 the ministry determined that, although successful in 1:1 mentoring, the number of at-risk youth in our community was increasing at an alarming rate. The organization realized that a change in the business paradigm had to take place in order to reach more hurting youth. With these increasing needs in mind, the Promise Neighborhood concept was created. With the collaboration of churches and schools we began to develop programs on their campuses, such as Christian after school, community gardens and sports activities. This allowed us to bring both youth and adults together so that more mentoring relationships could be developed and take place.
The success of the Promise Neighborhood concepts is allowing MentorKids to reach, not only, more youth but also their families and communities and transformation is taking place.