Happy National Mentoring Month!

Happy New Year and Happy National Mentoring Month! I am very excited to be starting the new year in celebration of a cause I feel deeply about. I wish every young person who would like to have a mentor could be connected to a positive and stable role model and experience a safe and effective mentoring relationship. And, I wish that every youth mentoring program had a waiting list of qualified and approved mentors, instead of a waiting list of mentees!

January 2011 is the tenth annual National Mentoring Month, a time each year when our nation spotlights the importance of mentors and the need for every child to have a caring adult in his or her life. Activities include a concentrated burst of national and local media activity - look out for those PSAs featuring General Colin Powell on your radio and TV - combined with White House and Congressional involvement and extensive community outreach to institutionalize the nation's commitment to long-term mentoring. National Mentoring Month efforts are spearheaded by the Harvard Mentor Project of the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Friends for Youth's Mentoring Institute, through Bay Area Mentoring, serves as lead local partner and the designated agency in the San Francisco Bay Area responsible for coordinating local campaign activities. We have 30 different mentoring agencies in 10 counties collaborating to ensure that the 6,400 children and youth served each year have supportive and transformative mentoring experiences.

President Barack Obama issued a proclamation designating January 2011 as National Mentoring Month. He stated, "Across our Nation, mentors steer our youth through challenging times and support their journey into adulthood. During National Mentoring Month, we honor these important individuals who unlock the potential and nurture the talent of our country, and we encourage more Americans to reach out and mentor young people in their community."

We hope you'll join the over 50,000 individuals across the country who responded to last year's National Mentoring Month campaign and get involved with a mentoring program like Friends for Youth. Mentors are needed now more than ever to motivate, inspire, and listen to young people lacking positive, stable adult role models. By showing up consistently, you can build a relationship that can last a lifetime and have tremendous impact on a young person. Help them get there - become a mentor today!


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