In January, we received the results of our RFP with the Augustana Research Institute (ARI).  The report in its entirety is available for download using this link: Rotary Mentoring Report.  ARI 's Principal Investigator, Dr. Suzanne Smith, and her team created an extremely well executed report allowing us to put our club's next steps together.   Here is an Executive Summary of the information. 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
Sioux Falls prides itself on being a community of generous people who care for one another. In Sioux Falls today, an estimated 1,855 mentors are actively engaged in mentorship relationships.  Yet the need for mentors remains significant. Our DT Rotary Board of Directors Executive Committee instructed the Augustana Research Institute (ARI)  to proceed with three focal areas for mentoring: youth, new Americans, and families and adults. 
 
Additional mentors are needed to meet demand for existing mentoring programs as well as to expand opportunities for mentoring to broader swaths of the population. In particular, stakeholders and mentoring program staff described five areas of opportunity for increased mentorship: youth, families and adults, career, social services and community accessibility, and intercultural inclusion.
 
Waiting lists persist for the community‚Äôs largest youth and family mentoring programs. Students and families sometimes wait months before being matched with a mentor. Based on current program capacity and existing demand, our local mentoring programs estimate the number of additional mentors needed today is 1,088.  The Sioux Falls area has a total K-12 public and private school enrollment of 45,970. Though youth-focused mentoring programs have the most participants of any area examined here, they cumulatively reach fewer than 2,000 youth. Across the board, youth-focused programs report their greatest need is additional volunteers.
 
Sioux Falls is home to a growing number of new Americans, immigrants and refugees who have settled here. In total, 18,708 Sioux Falls residents were born in another country, and of those people, more than half entered the United States within the past decade. New American mentoring programs match long-time residents with newcomers, benefiting both parties as they bridge cultural divides.
Sioux Falls is fortunate to enjoy a healthy economy and generous residents who can come alongside families and adults experiencing temporary crisis and instability.
 
Mentoring programs for families and adults can help people get back on their feet by empowering them with daily living skills and parenting techniques, job skills, and confidence to advance in their careers.
 
Thousands of people are involved in existing mentorship programs, but across the board, programs report opportunities for growth. The greatest needs are additional volunteers and financial support. Program staff and community stakeholders agree: Priority should be given to matching potential mentors with programs and mentees they can mentor successfully and to empowering a broader cross-section of the population to become mentors. Advocates of mentoring can lift up the diversity in the menu of options available among local mentoring programs, work to build an inclusive pipeline for new mentors from diverse backgrounds, and collaborate across sectors to facilitate referral to mentoring.