Western Wellness Foundation Inc. established the Best Friends Mentoring Program to offer direct service to at-risk youth by recruiting, training and supporting mentors for youth in need of support and encouragement. They provide leadership for positive community influence for children and families in the region of southwest North Dakota. The Foundation aims to sustain the program both financially and organizationally. It does this by providing a quality program to the community through employees and volunteers who are appropriately trained and supported by the organization, as well as communicating the organization's missionand promoting the program through public relations and fundraising events.
The Best Friends Mentoring Program serves school-age, at-risk youth in the eight counties of southwest North Dakota by providing trained, caring volunteer mentors for friendship, role modeling and guidance. Ninety-four percent of mentees in the program show increases in academic competency, social skills, positive behavior and positive attitude. At-risk youth who are mentored graduate from high school and become contributing members of their communities. Youth who don't graduate are eight times more likely to end up in prison. During the 2010-2011 school year, the program served 253 youth.