LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -

A new youth mentoring program at the YMCA in La Crosse is in need of more volunteers.

The Reach and Rise Mentoring Program is a federally funded program that is offered at YMCAs across the nation. The program is committed to helping kids between the ages of six and 17 reach their full potential.

Research shows that children in that age group are more likely to succeed with the support of a caring adult.

LaQuita Brazil, the director of the program in La Crosse, has already matched nine pairs, but her goal is 25 by the end of October.

She says the secret to a successful pairing is making sure the child and mentor are interested in the same things.

"I really take the time and make sure that the pairings are really working and beneficial and they have similar interests," said Brazil. "That really is important. They already have that connection, whether it ocmes to interests or location, and then once they meet, it usually goes extremely well."

To be a mentor in the program, you must be at least 23 years old, complete the required training, pass a fingerprint screening and spend one to three hours a week with your mentee.

If you're interested in being a mentor for the program, call Brazil at 608-519-5491 or e-mail her at lbrazil@laxymca.org.