President Obama calls on Americans to mentor and help guide the lives of young people
Washington, DC – The Corporation for National and Community Service joins with Harvard Mentoring Project of the Harvard School of Public Health, and MENTOR to kick off the Ninth Annual National Mentoring Month and launch a national volunteer recruitment drive to mentor. General Colin Powell will headline the month-long initiative and more than fifty partners will help to raise awareness of the impact of mentoring on the lives of young people.
This year's National Mentoring Month, themed Expand Your Universe, Mentor a Child, focuses on developing ways to mobilize more community volunteers to mentor a young person and increasing knowledge about how mentoring can greatly enhance their prospects for leading a healthy and productive life. Research shows that mentoring has beneficial and long-term effects on youth by increasing their chances of high school graduation and college attendance and decreasing the likelihood of substance abuse and other risky behaviors.
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.” Click here to read the complete proclamation.
The Corporation supports numerous mentoring projects across the country that help young people transition from poverty to promise, and aim to broaden the possibilities of success for thousands young people through service. In fiscal 2009, the agency's core programs leveraged volunteers to mentor more than 89,000 children of prisoners, 94,000 youth from disadvantaged circumstances, and 248,000 children and youth with special or exceptional needs. Other Corporation mentoring programs match high school students with college-level mentors, work to reduce the school dropout rate, and decrease youth violence.
“Our nation's success depends on helping every child succeed in school and reach his or her full potential in life,” said Nicola Goren, the Corporation's Acting CEO. “Mentoring strengthens our nation's economic and social well-being by influencing the life choices of young people with the help of a caring adult.”
As a highlight of National Mentoring Month, on January 21, “Thank Your Mentor 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 onhttp://www.whomentoredyou.org/. To find mentoring opportunities, visit www.serve.gov/mentor.
More than fifty national partners including nonprofits, mentoring organizations, and governmental agencies will coordinate local campaign activities across the country during National Mentoring Month to promote the value of mentoring and help recruit volunteers. The local lead partners include several of the Corporation's grantees, state and local affiliates of MENTOR, 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.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service each year through its core programs, Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America, and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information about the Corporation, visit NationalService.gov.