Sunday, January 27, 2013

National Mentor Summit - January 2013

I spent last Thursday and Friday at the National Mentoring Summit in Washington, DC. In this week’s blog articles I’ll try to share some of the ideas and resources that I connected with.

I created this map to show some of the people and organizations I connected with out of the more than 500 people who attended. The green nodes are people I've connected with prior to the Summit. The light blue nodes are new people who I hope to build relationships with in 2013. The link to this map can be found at

The “theme of the Summit was “Mentoring Works” and David Shapiro, CEO of Mentor was the first speaker to reinforce that message.

Below are quotes from David and others who spoke over the two days. I tried to Tweet some of these as I listened. I’m sure others were doing the same. If you attended the Summit, I invite you to post comments below to add quotes you were inspired by, or point to your own blog articles where you have posted your own comments.

Morning, Day 1

David Shapiro, CEO Mentor

“We do not have the political will (to support mentoring programs all over the country). We can’t do it with hope alone.”

“Moving mentoring from ‘nice to have’ to ‘need to have’ is my goal.”

Wendy Spencer, CEO, Corporation for National and Community Service

“We know that mentoring absolutely works.”

“A supportive mentor can make the difference between trouble and success.”

My goal is to “Bring a caring mentor to every child who needs one.”

Willem Kooyker, MENTOR Board Chairman

“Let’s think retail. It takes a village. We need partners in the private sector. Focus on the emotional part, not just the IQ part.”

Comment from workshop “New York City’s Mentoring Investment and Evaluation – A Key Strategy in the Young Men’s Initiative

“There is a connection between chronic absenteeism and future success. Need to catch kids before it is too late. We need to repurpose resources.”

Afternoon lunch panel – day 1

The Honorable Congressman Chaka Fattah (PA)

“We need all departments of government involved.”

“We can’t afford to leave any child behind if we are to compete with huge populations of China and India.”

Omarina, Cabrera, Student at Brooks Academy (was mentee at Middle School 244, Bronx, NY, when in 7th grade. Watch American Graduate Video featuring Omarina.

“It (mentoring” is something every child should have. It’s not fair when one doesn’t”

Dr. Robert Balfanz, Co-Director, Everyone Graduates Center, Johns Hopkins University

“Challenge is to organize enough adults so there are enough “People Power” in places that need it.”

We need to become “Insider traders for social good.” Use knowledge of what works to expand impact.

“We have to value student supports.”

“You can have the best curriculum in the world, but if students don’t attend class it does not matter.”

Catherine Miller, Teacher who worked with Omarina, Middle School 244, Bronx, NY

“You hold up a dream for a child until they are strong enough to hold it up for themselves.”

Michael Selkis, Director of School Development and Support and Director/Network Leader, fhi360

“We need to help understand connectivity around how all these things work. How do we use collective impact? Asset analysis?”

Morning, day 2

The Honorable Congressman Elijah Cummings (MD)

“Our children are a living message to a future we will never see.”

“We must do our part to life them up so they can deliver their gifts to the world.”

Lt. Governor Brian Calley, Michigan

There are “few areas where we have the ability to affect the world 50 years from now, as much as how we mentor kids who need help.”

“Those who have the most stacked against them are once to concentrate on first.”

Eric Dawson, founder of PeaceFirst

“We do not call them (youth) to anything.”
“What about the power of young people to be assets of change?”
“What are we going to ask of young people?”

Eric announced the Peace First Prize, a “Nobel Prize” for youth leadership.

I'm sure there were many other great quotes from all the different speakers. These are what I captured in my notes. I think they are enough to inspire us in efforts that mobilize resources and talent needed to support volunteer based tutoring and/or mentoring programs in high poverty areas, as in special need populations.

All of these speakers and many others talked about the power of mentoring and the need for resources to support mentoring in many places. My next article will introduce you to some of the workshops I attended. My final article will post reflections on what this all means and what the next steps should be in 2013.

If you want to help young people in Chicago, browse the maps on the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator and look for tutor/mentor programs near where you live or work. Offer your time, talent and dollars to help each program move from what they are today to becoming the best in the world at helping young people find their own paths to positive futures.

Browse the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site for more ideas on where and how you can become involved, including offering your support to the Institute so it can continue its intermediary role.

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