January is National Mentoring Month, and this year the City of Greensboro and United Way of Greater Greensboro are celebrating 15 years of the mentoring movement and expanding quality mentoring opportunities in support of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative.
This is an opportunity to connect more of our community’s young people with caring adults by identifying youth employment and mentoring programs throughout the City of Greensboro.
The City is partnering with United Way’s African-American Male Initiative to provide mentors for our African-American, Hispanic and other male students, under the MBK model. Mentoring starts in grades 2nd – 5th at Wiley Elementary, 6th – 8th at Jackson Middle and 9th grade at Smith High School. Approximately 140 boys are eligible to participate in the program between the three schools.
“Over the past 15 years, mentoring has gained tremendous momentum, in large part due to National Mentoring Month. Mentoring is a critical part of developing life changing relationships – mentoring is proven to have a positive effect on academic, social, and economic outcomes for our young people,” said Mayor Nancy Vaughan.
“Too many young people right here in Greensboro lack sufficient support to succeed in school and in life,” says Michelle Gethers-Clark, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Greensboro. “ Each of us has the power to truly impact the future for our youth by simply being a caring adult in their life as a friend and mentor.”
Research shows mentors can play a powerful role in providing youngsters with the tools to make responsible choices, attend and excel in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like gang activity or drug use.
In turn, young people who are mentored:
- 55% more likely to be enrolled in college
- 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
Yet, the same research shows that nine million young people in our country will grow up without a mentor. National Mentoring Month each January allows for unique engagement from community members interested in becoming a mentor. This year, with the support of the mentoring community, we are encouraging the public to go beyond just digital engagement – and become involved in making a real life impact.
Mentoring relationships are at their best when connections are made between a caring adult and a young person who knows that someone is there to help guide them through those real life decisions. Pledge to be a mentor today, by contacting the United Way of Greater Greensboro.
Other important dates for National Mentoring Month include:
January 12, 2017: “I Am a Mentor Day”
A day for volunteer mentors to celebrate their role and reflect on the ways mentees have enhanced their world and share their stories about being a mentor on social media using #MentorIRL.
January 16, 2017: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
A day to share in the inspirational words of MLK, Jr., and elevate the spirit of service through volunteerism.
January 17, 2017: International Mentoring Day
A day of international conversations on social media where photos, video and messages to share powerful mentoring stories.
January 19, 2017: “Thank Your Mentor Day”
A day for all who have real life mentoring experiences to thank those who helped them on their path to adulthood and beyond 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.
To learn more about the role mentoring plays in our community and to find volunteer opportunities, click here.
About National Mentoring Month
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.