This is Derek Miller Speaking on Business. Children who’ve experienced adversity in low-income conditions often need and can benefit from long-term, nurturing relationships with consistent and caring adults. Dr. Sandi Pershing, executive director of Friends of the Children – Utah, tells us how her organization makes that happen.


At Friends of the Children, we’ve redefined the youth mentoring field by creating the first and only long-term professional mentoring program in America. 

Working with community partners, Friends of the Children-Utah selects children who could most benefit from a relationship with a professional mentor. The mentors’ full-time job is to be a friend, empowering and supporting the child and caregivers. The mentors spend a minimum of 14 hours a month with each child to set goals and design activities that advance goals and build life skills. 

By moving mentorship out of the volunteer realm, we achieve the quality, consistency, and commitment these children and families need and deserve to not just survive but thrive. This effort is not cheap – but it is important. By giving to Friends-Utah, you are providing positive change in our communities.  

To learn more – or to get involved – visit


The future is built on the well-being of our children, and we must teach them the skills they need to succeed. If your child needs help, or if you want to volunteer, or help financially, please go to I’m Derek Miller with the Salt Lake Chamber, Speaking on Business.