We found out that this morning that here in the Sioux Falls area there are over 500 kids waiting for a mentor. National statistics indicated that 1 in every 6 young people are disconnected from work and school. A 2013 national Gallup Student Survey shows that 46 percent of youth polled said they lacked hope and 34 percent said they were not thriving.

These numbers don't bode well for the future of the educational and business world, not to mention society at large. An undereducated and unengaged populace leads to higher crime rates and lower productivity.

But what if you could help turn this situation around by giving one hour of your week to a child looking for someone to talk to, someone who can help them keep their dreams alive, someone with a commitment to the future. Lutheran Social Services Mentoring Services has been making a difference one child at a time for years and they would love you to join in.

You simply need to set aside an hour a week to spend with your student, usually over the lunch hour. LSS asks that you make at least a 1 school year commitment to your child, but some mentors have been volunteering for over 10 years because they love it so much! You can play board games, do art projects, play basketball, or just eat and talk. It is that simple, but the rewards for you and your student are immeasurable.

Kids with mentors are less likely to skip school, lie to their parents, use illegal drugs, or drink alcohol. You have the power to make a difference and be an everyday hero. Apply online here.