Posted by: Stephanie Freeman
President Obama has proclaimed January of 2011 as the National Month of Mentoring. This month is a time where the importance of mentoring is brought to life in local communities as well as in the national spotlight.
This is a proclamation that is very close to the hearts of President and First Lady Obama themselves. President Obama’s administration launched its own mentoring program, the White House Mentorship Program, in November of 2009. The First Lady’s administration has led the mentoring program through holding monthly activities for their mentees, inviting mentees to attend public events with the First Lady, and encouraging mentors to meet up with their mentees at other events and correspond through email. The White House’s mentoring program is a year-long program for high school students that will be paired with White House staff and will learn about the Federal Government, and learn about how to succeed in school and give back to their communities.
According to National Mentoring Month (NMM), “when you serve as a mentor, you enrich your own life as much as you do the life of a child”. To participate in this month’s activities, NMM asks caring adults to:
1. Become a mentor in your community
2. Learn more about mentoring.
3. Partner with a mentoring organization.
4. Tell 5 friends about National Mentoring Month.
5. Think about the mentors in your life and post a tribute to them online.
6. Read the latest research and find resources on mentoring.
7. Serve your community on MLK Jr. Day of Service by deciding to become a mentor.
8. Make a donation to a mentoring organization in your community.
9. Go to YouTub on Thank Your Mentor Day (January 25) and make the National Mentoring Month videos the most popular of the day.
10. Explore ways to help children succeed academically through mentoring.
National Mentoring Month’s website gives more details about the campaign, how to take action, and where to attend events. View more information at: http://www.nationalmentoringmonth.org/.
Locally, there are many exceptional mentoring organizations that could use your help, time and resources. Organization’s such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Common Goal, Starfish Initiative, 100 Black Men, College Mentors for Kids, and many others are currently looking for caring adults to touch a life a youth in need. Indiana Mentoring Partnership (IMP), a program of the Indiana Youth Institute, has a mission to promote and support quality mentoring to foster academic success and positive youth development. IMP has come up with a fun way to help organizations recruit mentors. IMP is asking organizations to hold a mentoring recruitment event on January 11, of 2011 and submit their plans so IMP can promote all events. This day reflects the success formula for an effective mentoring program, one adult, mentoring one child, for at least one hour, at least once a week for at least one school year. Visit IMP at: http://www.iyi.org/indiana-mentoring-partnership.aspx. Other organizations and programs to volunteer at can be found on MCCOY’s Resources on Youth database: www.roymccoy.org.
Thank you in advance for being a mentor, asking your friends to become mentoring, helping a mentoring organization, and for helping to create a brighter future of the youth of central Indiana.