In 2002, President Bush endorsed Harvard’s National Mentoring Month. Each January the MENTOR campaign is held to promote youth mentoring in the United States. We focus on teamwork to increase the number of mentors to make sure young people in our communities have reliable people to look up to and follow in their footsteps.
Mentoring is connected to improved academic, social, and economic prospects for your people, and that strengthens our community.
Harvard researchers have shown that when matched through a quality mentoring program, mentors can play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible decisions, stay focused and engaged in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like skipping school, drug use and other negative activities.
For example, in a national report called The Mentoring Effect, young people who were at-risk for not completing high school but who had a mentor were 55% more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor. They were also:
Additionally, mentee’s are twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.
This same report found that one in three young people in our country will grow up without a mentor. Today, in our community there are many young people who could receive help from having a mentor. As we focus on engaging more community members in volunteering as mentors, we will share a simple message: Mentor IN REAL LIFE (#MentorIRL). Mentoring relationships are basic human connections that let a young person know that they matter, and mentors often report back that their relationships make their mentees feel like someone is there to help them make the right choices in life.
National Mentoring Month is led by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
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 taken part in the campaign include Maya Angelou, former President Bill Clinton, Clint Eastwood, Quincy Jones, Cal Ripken Jr., Bill Russell, and Usher.
To find a mentor or volunteer opportunities, visit nationalmentoringmonth.org.