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President Obama Declares January 2017 National Mentoring Month
January Marks National Mentoring Month
[Boston, MA] — This January marks the 16th 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 12, 2017: “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 16, 2017: 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 17, 2017: International Mentoring Day, to celebrate the role of mentor by asking the world to share their ideas around mentoring and create space for an international conversation.
- January 19, 2017: “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 #ThankYourMentor.
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