January 1, 2004, marked the launch of the third annual National
Mentoring Month (NMM) campaign--a public-private initiative
to recruit volunteer mentors for young people who are at risk
of not achieving their full potential.
George W. Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Senator Hillary
Rodham Clinton, Senator John McCain, and leading governors
and mayors across the nation participated in the campaign.
Top Hollywood stars, athletes, and journalists also took part,
including: Tom Brokaw, Deepak Chopra, Walter Cronkite, Gwen
Ifill, Edward James Olmos, Bill Russell, Tim Russert, Martin
Sheen, Mike Wallace, and Oprah Winfrey. The campaign's national
media partners included ABC (Disney), CBS (Viacom), Fox (News
Corp.), NBC (GE), and several divisions of AOL Time Warner.
January 2004, more than 200,000 people visited www.mentoring.org
(the web site of MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership) and
www.bbbsa.org (the web site of Big Brothers Big Sisters of
America) to find out more about mentoring opportunities in
January 2002, the Harvard Mentoring Project of the Harvard
School of Public Health and MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership
spearheaded the first-ever National Mentoring Month. In more
than 50 states and cities, partnerships of mentoring programs,
brought together under the umbrella of MENTOR/National Mentoring
Partnership, provide a local telephone number for prospective
mentors to call, and handled placement of volunteers. In many
other markets, similar roles were played by local affiliates
of America's Promise-The Alliance for Youth, Big Brothers
Big Sisters of America, Communities In Schools, and Points
of Light Foundation.
Goals of National Mentoring Month:
raise awareness of mentoring in its various forms;
individuals to mentor, especially in programs that have
waiting lists of young people;
To promote the rapid growth of mentoring by recruiting organizations
to engage their constituents in mentoring.
has shown that programs which rely on volunteer mentors can
play a powerful role in reducing drug abuse and youth violence,
while greatly enhancing a young person's prospects for leading
a healthy and productive life.
Harvard Mentoring Project and MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership
led the NMM 2004 effort. The Harvard Mentoring Project provided
overall strategic direction for NMM 2004, created the campaign's
advertising, handled media outreach, and served as liaison
to the White House. MENTOR took lead responsibility for fulfillment,
and served as liaison to the United States Congress.
campaign's national media partners included CBS Television,
Comcast, Fox Broadcasting, NBC Television, National Association
of Broadcasters, Paramount Television, Time Warner Cable,
Viacom Outdoor, and Yahoo! The campaign's nonprofit partners
America's Promise-The Alliance for Youth
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
The Child Welfare League of America
Communities In Schools
The Grammy Foundation
National Association of Broadcasters
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
Partnership for a Drug-Free America
Points of Light Foundation
Save the Children
White House supported the effort through the President's USA
Freedom Corps initiative. The U.S. Department of Justice participated
through its National Mentoring Center.
theme for NMM 2004 was "Who mentored you? Thank them
pass it on!"
The idea behind "Who mentored you?" is to help people
connect to the importance of mentoring by encouraging them
to think about individuals in their own lives-family members,
teachers, coaches, clergy, neighbors-who provided support,
showed them the ropes, and helped them become who they are
today. The campaign's message was that, today, too many young
people do not get enough of that kind of support; mentoring
programs can help fill the gap but need more volunteers.
the centerpiece of NMM 2004, the Harvard Mentoring Project
developed a new initiative, Thank Your Mentor Day, which
was celebrated on January 15, 2004. On that day, Americans
across the country reached out to thank or honor those individuals
who encouraged and guided them, and who had a lasting impact
on their lives. The Harvard Mentoring Project created thank-you
cards for people to send to their mentor and to educate people
about mentoring, Thank Your Mentor DayTM, and NMM 2004.
Your Mentor Day, which will be repeated each year, promotes
"Three Ways to Honor your Mentor":
your mentor to express your appreciation;
it on" by becoming a mentor to a young person in your
a tribute to your mentor for posting on the campaign's web
To support the effort, the Harvard Mentoring Project's web
presents video clips and written essays contributed by prominent
individuals from various fields sharing recollections about
important mentors from their childhood and young adult years.
Contributors include Tom Brokaw (NBC News), the late Ray Charles,
Deepak Chopra, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Walter Cronkite,
Antwone Fisher, Darrell Green, Gwen Ifill (PBS), Quincy Jones,
Larry King (CNN), Senator John McCain, Edward James Olmos,
Secretary of State Colin Powell, Harold Prince, Cal Ripken,
Jr., Bill Russell, Tim Russert (NBC News), Martin Sheen (The
West Wing, NBC), Mike Wallace (CBS News), and Oprah Winfrey.
During January, the web site also provides access to on-line
greeting cards, created for the campaign by Hallmark Cards,
enabling people to reach out via e-mail to thank mentors who
made significant contributions to their lives. The web site
promotes the theme of "Pass it on!" and provides
links to www.mentoring.org,
the web site of MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, for
information on mentoring programs in communities across the
country that need volunteers.
support of Thank Your Mentor Day, tributes from individuals
thanking their mentors were posted on WhoMentoredYou.org.
These meaningful stories of the impact of mentoring from people
of all ages and backgrounds are an inspiration to potential
for NMM 2004 was produced by the Harvard Mentoring Project
and by the ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC networks. One powerful ad,
"Stand By Them," inspired adults to help young people
and featured the famous hit song, "Stand By Me,"
sung by the renowned Ben E. King. Other ads extended the theme
of "Pass it on!" by encouraging individuals to "Share
what you know." The ads reinforced the idea that
everyone has something of value to share with a young person.
In one ad, the late Ray Charles and music impresario Quincy
Jones recalled how Mr. Charles took 14-year-old Quincy under
his wing and mentored him in the late 1940s. Another ad featured
90-year-old artist Tom Gill, who drew The Lone Ranger comic
strip for over 20 years and continues to share his passion
for drawing with young people.
celebrities appearing in public service announcements (PSAs)
for NMM 2004 included Catherine Bell (JAG, CBS), author
and screenwriter Antwone Fisher, Kelsey Grammer (Frasier,
NBC), NFL great Darrell Green, Mary Hart (Entertainment
Tonight, Paramount syndication), baseball great Cal Ripken,
Jr., and Hattie Winston (Becker, CBS). The PSA featuring
Darrell Green cited his role as chairman of the President's
Council on Service and Civic Participation; the PSA featuring
Cal Ripken, Jr. cited his membership on the Council.
inaugurate the first annual Thank Your Mentor Day, a
print ad was developed by Grey Worldwide. Against a background
of different ways to say "thank you" (e.g, "Thank
you for your encouragement, guidance and inspiration"
and "Thank you for taking me under your wing."),
three phrases stand out: "We can't tell you what to say
we can tell you when
January 15th is Thank Your Mentor
Day." The ad directs readers to WhoMentoredYou.org
to learn more about Thank Your Mentor Day and encourages
people to think about who mentored them, thank them, and pass
more than 50 states and cities, local partnerships of mentoring
programs convened steering committees of community leaders,
created an action plan for NMM, secured media commitments
in their markets, provided local telephone numbers for prospective
mentors to call, responded to inquiries from the public, and
referred prospective volunteers to appropriate mentoring agencies.
In many of the largest media markets, a single television
network affiliate served as the local lead TV partner for
NMM, and sponsored a month-long, station-wide, on-air campaign
in collaboration with the campaign's local lead nonprofit
Your Mentor Day is the latest initiative of an ongoing
national media campaign developed by the Harvard Mentoring
Project. The Harvard Mentoring Project's ongoing national
media campaign has received over $250 million in donated television
airtime, and has generated over one million inquiries from
people seeking information on mentoring programs in their
own communities. The Project is an initiative of the Harvard
School of Public Health's Center for Health Communication,
which previously created the National Designated Driver Campaign.
Harvard Mentoring Project is supported by grants from the
MCJ Foundation and MetLife Foundation. Major in-kind support
for NMM 2004 was provided by AOL Time Warner; the ABC, CBS,
Fox, and NBC television networks; Margeotes Fertitta + Partners
LLC; Sticky Grey; and the National Association of Broadcasters.
more information on Thank Your Mentor Day and National
Mentoring Month, visit www.WhoMentoredYou.org.
Mentored You? , Thank Your Mentor Day , and Share
What You Knoware trademarked initiatives of the Harvard
Mentoring Project of the Harvard School of Public Health.