1, 2003, marked the launch of the second 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, Senator 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
January 2003, more than 120,000 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
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America reported receiving the
largest number of monthly inquiries in the organization's
100-year history during NMM 2003.
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 40 states and cities, partnerships of mentoring programs,
brought together under the umbrella of MENTOR/National Mentoring
Partnership, provided 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;
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 2003 effort. Nonprofit partners included:
White House supported the effort through the President's
USA Freedom Corps initiative. The
U.S. Department of Justice participated through its National
theme for NMM 2003 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.
support the effort, the Book of the Month Club (AOL Time Warner)
and Barnes & Noble Publishing released an updated version
of Mrs. Matilda Cuomo's book, The Person Who Changed My
Life. Mrs. Cuomo is the founding chair of Mentoring USA.
Her book consists of interviews with 75 leaders in various
fields discussing the influence of mentors in their lives,
and includes contributions by Tony Bennett, Senator Hillary
Rodham Clinton, Senator Elizabeth Dole, Gloria Estefan, James
Earl Jones, Christopher Reeve, and Diane Sawyer.
public relations initiative for NMM 2003 included the launch
of a new website, www.WhoMentoredYou.org, developed by the
Harvard Mentoring Project. The site features video clips and
written commentary from prominent people discussing important
mentors in their own lives. Participants include Tom Brokaw,
Deepak Chopra, Walter Cronkite, Gwen Ifill, Larry King, Senator
John McCain, Edward James Olmos, General Colin Powell, Harold
Prince, Bill Russell, Tim Russert, and Oprah Winfrey. The
web site also provided access to on-line greeting cards (e-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 own lives. Lastly, the site promotes
the theme of "Pass it on!" and provides links to
information about mentoring programs in local communities
around the country that need volunteers.
television advertising for NMM 2003, produced by the Harvard
Mentoring Project and by the ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC networks,
extended the theme of "Pass it on!" by encouraging
individuals to "Share what you know." The advertising
reinforced the idea that everyone has something of value to
share with a young person. The ads featured leading actors
and personalities, including: Marc Anthony; Edward James Olmos;
Martin Sheen, Stockard Channing, and Janel Moloney (NBC's
The West Wing); Dennis Franz (ABC's NYPD Blue); Larry King
(CNN's Larry King Live); Bernie Mac (Fox's The Bernie Mac
Show); John Ritter (ABC's 8 Simple Rule for Dating My Teenage
Daughter); and Doris Roberts (CBS' Everybody Loves Raymond).
graphic artist Milton Glaser created a logo for NMM 2003 on
behalf of the Harvard Mentoring Project. Margeotes Fertitta
+ Partners LLC created a series of print ads and radio spots
for NMM 2003 on behalf of MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership.
The ads, which featured mentor/mentee pairs, promoted the
theme, "Share the Experience
Be a Mentor" and
highlighted workplace and school-based mentoring. Sticky Grey,
a division of Grey Worldwide, created a series of outdoor
and print ads on behalf of the Harvard Mentoring Project and
the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. (View
a .pdf of the ad, free version of Acrobat
Reader required for viewing) These ads supported the "Share
what you know" theme; using the line, "Turn a lifetime
of experience into the experience of a lifetime."
national advertising for NMM 2003 directed individuals to
the web site of MENTOR/National Mentoring Month, for background
on mentoring and information on programs around the country
that need volunteers.
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 National Mentoring Month, and sponsored
a month-long, station-wide, on-air campaign in collaboration
with the campaign's local lead nonprofit partner.
"Who mentored you?" and "Share what you know"
initiatives are the latest components of an ongoing national
media campaign spearheaded by the Harvard Mentoring Project
in collaboration with its broadcast and nonprofit partners.
Over the past six years, the campaign has received over $200
million in donated television airtime, and has generated over
one million inquiries from people seeking information on mentoring
programs in their own communities that need volunteers. The
Harvard Mentoring Project is an initiative of the Harvard
School of Public Health's Center for Health Communication,
which previously created the National Designated Driver Campaign.
The Harvard Mentoring Project is supported by grants from
the MCJ Foundation and the MetLife Foundation.
in-kind support for NMM 2003 was provided by AOL Time Warner;
the ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC television networks; Margeotes
Fertitta + Partners LLC; Sticky Grey; and the National Association
Mentored You?TM , Thank Your Mentor DayTM , and Share What
You KnowTM are trademarked initiatives of the Harvard Mentoring
Project of the Harvard School of Public Health.