Expand Your Universe, Mentor a Child

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This January marks the Ninth Annual National Mentoring Month, an opportunity for all of us to recognize the important role that mentors play in the lives of young people all over the country.

This year's National Mentoring Month focuses on developing ways to mobilize more community volunteers to mentor young people and increasing knowledge about the benefits mentoring has on a young person’s long-term health and productivity. Mentoring can truly change lives; it has been proved to increase the chances of a young person graduating from high school and attending college, and decrease the likelihood of substance abuse and other risky behaviors.

The theme of 2010’s National Mentoring Month, Expand Your Universe, Mentor a Child, speaks not only to the impact that mentoring has on the child who is mentored, but the power that the experience can have on the mentor. When you serve as a mentor, you enrich your own life as much as you do the life of a child. Mentoring leads to new experiences, new connections, new insights, and new satisfactions.

In a proclamation recognizing the National Mentoring Month, President Obama praised mentors as key to fulfilling “critical local needs that often elude public services” and building a “brighter future for our Nation by helping our children grow into productive, engaged, and responsible adults.” To read the complete proclamation, click here.

Jointly coordinated by the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR, and the Corporation for National and Community Service, National Mentoring Month will focus national attention on the need for mentors. If we - individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities and nonprofits - can work together to increase the number of mentors, we assure brighter futures for our young people.

As a highlight of National Mentoring Month, join us on January 21st in celebrating “Thank Your Mentor Day.” On this day, Americans are asked to honor those who have impacted their lives by thanking their mentors, passing on the virtue of mentoring by becoming a mentor to a local young person, and writing a tribute to their mentor and post it on http://www.whomentoredyou.org/.

To find mentoring opportunities, visit serve.gov and for more information on National Mentoring Month, visit Serve.gov/Mentor

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