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Cain Gonzalez on The Importance of Mentorship

January 24, 2023

Cain Gonzalez on The Importance of Mentorship

National Mentoring Month

Did you know that in the United States, we are suffering from a mentoring gap? Studies show that 1 in 3 young people in the U.S. will reach the age of 19 without having a mentor.

Mentorship has a profound impact on young people's lives. According to the website, youth who meet regularly with a mentor are 52 percent less likely to miss a day of school, 46 percent less likely than their peers to start using drugs, and more than twice as likely to hold a leadership position in a club or on a sports team.

As a kid, I grew up visiting family in prisons across California. These visits encouraged me to do better and to become interested in a career in law enforcement. I had many positive interactions with people in law enforcement which led me to join the Explorer program at my local Sheriff’s Department when I was 14 years old. In the Explorer program, I met officers who became my mentors. They motivated, counseled, and encouraged me.

In 2021, I joined the SAFE Family Justice Centers (SAFE FJC), Boys Council program. The mentors at SAFE FJC were people I looked up to. They motivated me and pushed me to see my true potential. These mentors helped me realize that I could continue to break the cycle to which  I had been exposed earlier in my life.

Because of my positive experience in the Boys Council, I wanted to give back what these mentors have given to me, so I volunteered in their Police Activities League to be a mentor. I also applied for a position to become a Youth Service Specialist with SAFE FJC. My career goal is to become a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy and work in the City of Perris. I am dedicated to giving back to my community and making it a safer place to live.

I have seen how much my mentors have impacted me, which made me realize the impact I can have on others. Serving as both a mentee and mentor has shown me how crucial it is for youth and adults to have someone in their life to look up to. My mentors made me realize that I do not need to stay trapped in a statistical environment. I can break the cycle of what my family has been through. I am honored to be that vessel now through SAFE FJC and in my future career.

A good mentor challenges you to push your limits. They are also sympathetic, patient, and understanding with the ability to connect with their mentee on a deeper level. At SAFE FJC, I have experienced that bond to understand that they have helped me become a better version of what I am today. I was able to gain guidance on my direction in life and be able to realize the potential I have.

Will you join me and mentor a youth this month?



Our guest blog author, Cain Gonzalez is a Youth Specialist at the SAFE Family Justice Centers. He is 18 years old and is pursuing a career in law enforcement. Cain has participated in the Riverside County Sheriff's Department Explorer program for four years and is currently the Explorer Captain.


Author: Guest Blogger

Categories: Blog

Tags: riversideFJCSafe Family Justice CenterprogramSAFE FJCmentorYouthCountySheriffDepartmentExplorerMentorshipBoysCouncilPoliceActivitiesLeagueCainGonzalez