The Prescott City Council kicked off its first meeting of the new year this week by proclaiming January as Youth Mentoring Month, and flooding the front of city hall with the effort’s symbolic color of purple.

Mayor Pro Tem Billie Orr read a proclamation during the Tuesday, Jan. 9, meeting emphasizing the value of mentoring a child.

“Youth mentorship can lead to higher education and graduation rates, improved behavior, boosted self-esteem, and a decreased likelihood of initiating drug and alcohol use,” the proclamation stated, adding that adults who regularly serve others are more likely to live longer, healthier lives, and have stronger connections to their communities.

“I will tell you that tonight we are going to light city hall purple, and it will remain purple for the remainder of the month,” Orr said after reading the proclamation and presenting it to Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters Executive Director Juliana Goswick.

A news release from Big Brother Big Sisters noted that mentors “can give a child the invaluable gift of your friendship” by devoting “just a few hours, a couple times a month.”

It added the Prescott, Prescott Valley and Chino Valley councils are all recognizing January as a chance to honor those who mentor and to share the value of mentoring to potential volunteers.

“Whether you mentor a child through Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters or volunteer at the many child-oriented organizations in the area including Boys to Men, the Launch Pad, and the Boys and Girls Club, you are showing a child the possibilities in life, supporting and guiding them, and helping them meet their goals,” the news release added.

Noting that millions of children across the nation do not have a caring, stable adult in their lives to help them navigate life, the news release added, “January is dedicated to changing that, as well as to thanking those mentors who already give of their time.”

Signs in support of Mentoring Month will appear in downtown Prescott, as well as the banner above Gurley Street. More information is available online at: