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PRESIDENT OBAMA PROCLAIMS JANUARY 2013 AS NATIONAL MENTORING MONTH
A supportive mentor can mean the difference between struggle and success.
BOSTON, MA, January 4, 2013 -- President Barack Obama issued a proclamation today designating January 2013 as National Mentoring Month. He stated, “Mentors know that helping a child unlock their full potential begins with care, guidance, and support -- which is why my Administration is proud to celebrate mentorship nationwide through programs that help young people see the strength within themselves.”
General Colin L. Powell, a spokesperson for the 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 ensure that all of our young people are well equipped to lead healthy and productive lives. You can help a young person prepare for a successful future by volunteering with a local mentoring program.”
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 2013,
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 10th. 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 2013, Thank Your Mentor Day will be celebrated on January 17th. 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 WhoMentoredYou.org.
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.
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.