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Visit NationalMentoringMonth.org to find mentoring opportunities in your community.

National Mentoring Month 2016
Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

January 2016

PRESIDENT OBAMA DECLARES JANUARY 2016 NATIONAL MENTORING MONTH

January Marks National Mentoring Month

[Boston, MA] -- This January marks the 15th annual National Mentoring Month, a campaign aimed at expanding quality mentoring opportunities to connect more of our community's young people with caring adults.

There is a powerful mentoring effect demonstrated by research and the experiences of young people who are connected to a mentor in real life. Mentoring is linked to improved academic, social and economic prospects for your people, and that ultimately strengthens our community.

Research has shown that when matched through a quality mentoring program, mentors can play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible decisions, stay focused and engaged in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like skipping school, drug use and other negative activities.

For example, in a recent national report called The Mentoring Effect, young people who were at-risk for not completing high school but who had a mentor were 55 percent more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor. They were also:

  • 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities.
  • 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities.
  • More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.
  • This same report found that one in three young people in our country will grow up without a mentor. Today, in our community there are numerous young people who could benefit from having a mentor. As we focus on engaging more community members in volunteering as mentors, we will share a simple message: Mentor IN REAL LIFE. Mentoring relationships are basic human connections that let a young person know that they matter, and mentors frequently report back that their relationships make their mentees feel like someone is there to help them make the right choices in life. Other important dates for this public awareness campaign include:

  • January 14, 2016: "I Am a Mentor Day," when volunteers across our community and the country will share their stories about being a mentor on social media using #MentorIRL.
  • January 18, 2016: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, when our nation will shine a spotlight on volunteerism and inspire people seeking service opportunities to learn more about mentoring.
  • January 21, 2016: "Thank Your Mentor Day," when we encourage anyone who has had a mentor to say thank you by sending a note, a card or sharing a story on social media using #MentorIRL.
  • National Mentoring Month is led by Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, with support from the Highland Street Foundation. 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, Quincy Jones, Cal Ripken Jr., Bill Russell and Usher.

    To learn more about the role mentoring plays in our community and to find volunteer opportunities visit nationalmentoringmonth.org

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    Click for Larger Image


    From the film Keep on Keepin’ On
    The true story of legendary mentor Clark Terry and his mentee Justin Kauflin


    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.

     
     
     
    © 2016 President and Fellows of Harvard College