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National Mentoring Month 2014
Press Release

For more information contact:
Center for Health Communication
(617) 432-1038


President Encourages Adults to Be a Mentor -- Every Child Should Have the Chance to Be a Mentee.

BOSTON, MA, January 1, 2014 -- President Barack Obama issued a proclamation yesterday designating January 2014 as National Mentoring Month.  He stated, “In every corner of our Nation, mentors push our next generation to shape their ambitions, set a positive course, and achieve their boundless potential. During National Mentoring Month, we celebrate everyone who teaches, inspires, and guides young Americans as they reach for their dreams.”

General Colin L. Powell, a spokesperson for the National Mentoring Month campaign, is featured in a public service announcement (PSA) prepared for broadcast on television and radio.  In the PSA, General Powell states, “As a nation, we need to invest in our young people, let them know they are full of potential and help them succeed -- and mentoring can do that. Mentors can help young people build confidence and give them hope for the future. So you can help your country by volunteering as a mentor to a young person in your community.” 

Research has shown that volunteer mentors can play a powerful role in reducing drug abuse and youth violence as well as boosting academic achievement.  Mentors help to build young people’s character and confidence, expand their universe, and help them navigate a path to success.

Despite these benefits, however, the gap between the number of mentors and the number of young people who need a mentor continues to grow.  Today, 15 million young people need a caring adult mentor in their lives.

Back for 2014, Mentors, mentees, youth mentoring organizations and mentoring advocates across America are invited and encouraged to join "I Am a Mentor" social media day on January 9th. The effort to light up all social media channels on a single day with this message is part of January's National Mentoring Month activities to bring awareness to the need for quality mentoring and inspire participants to learn about the impact of mentoring and how they can make a difference in the lives of this country's young people.

As a highlight of National Mentoring Month 2014, Thank Your Mentor Day will be celebrated on January 16th.  On that day, many Americans will reach out to thank or honor those individuals who encouraged and guided them and had a lasting impact on their lives.  Thank Your Mentor Day promotes three ways to honor your mentor: (1) contact your mentor directly to express your appreciation; (2) pass on what you received by becoming a mentor to a young person in your community; and (3) write a tribute to your mentor for posting on

For additional information about National Mentoring Month, visit WWW.SERVE.GOV/MENTOR.

Thank Your Mentor Day™ is an initiative of the Harvard School of Public Health.

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Watch a public service announcement featuring General Colin L. Powell in support of National Mentoring Month.
Watch 2014 PSAs

In addition to its national focus, the campaign includes a heavy emphasis on local communities, and is intended to energize and empower community and statewide mentoring initiatives as well as encourage planning and coordination among mentoring groups.

In communities across the country, designated nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies are responsible for coordinating local campaign activities, including media outreach and volunteer recruitment. These local lead partners include state and local affiliates of MENTOR, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Points of Light Institute and HandsOn Network, America's Promise Alliance, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Communities In Schools, and United Way of America.

Local activities range from telethons and media appearances to mentor/mentee game days, basketball tournaments, concerts, walk-a-thons, movie and museum days, and recognition events to honor outstanding mentors.

Each year since its launch in 2002, National Mentoring Month has enjoyed the strong support of the President and the United States Congress.  Other prominent individuals who have participated in the campaign include:  Maya Angelou, former President Bill Clinton, Clint Eastwood, Senator John McCain, Quincy Jones, Cal Ripken, Jr., Bill Russell, and Usher.

© 2014 President and Fellows of Harvard College