The JUMP Program currently serves almost 80 children with volunteer mentors, making it the largest volunteer program at the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau. The mentors who join JUMP don't take the decision to become a mentor lightly.

"Mentoring is a big commitment, but it is so worthwhile," JUMP Program Manager Jill Hampton said.

In order to become a JUMP Mentor, the applicant must be screened extensively, have a reference check, and have a sit-down interview with program staff. The mentor must also agree to be dedicated to mentoring one child for at least a one-year time period.

The JUMP Program is always trying to reach their goal of having a mentor for every child on their waiting list. JUMP currently has 17 children on the waiting list for a mentor. One of those children is Jan.

Jan's mother wanted her to join JUMP so she could have someone to inspire her, give her someone to talk to, and to have an adult to do fun activities with. Jan's mother is a single parent and is always looking for ways to help improve Jan's life.

"Jan is very sweet and very helpful," Hampton said. "She is a little shy at first, but once you get to know her she is very kind and caring."

Jan enjoys craft projects, and although she can be a tom-boy at times, she loves to scrapbook. She also enjoys watching movies, reading, doing puzzles, and playing board games. Playing basketball and doing outdoor activities - such as going to the park, riding bikes and taking walks - are some of her favorite things. She likes animals, especially cats and dogs.

"Jan is a typical 12 year old girl who just needs an adult to talk to and spend time with," Hampton said.

The perfect mentor for Jan would be someone who is energetic, enjoys the outdoors, and loves to do craft projects, especially scrapbooking.

If you believe you could be the perfect mentor for Jan, contact Hampton today at 362-0694 ext. 12 or at for more information. "Mentoring is one of the best things you can do for a child," Hampton said.

The Paper of Montgomery County, in cooperation with the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau, will weekly be bringing its readers stories of Montgomery County children who are currently in need of a mentor through the Juvenile Mentoring Program (JUMP). This is the second story installment. All names and some situational details have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the children.