Thursday, January 03, 2013

Support Mentoring in Your Community

During January National Mentoring Month a variety of national events will attempt to draw greater attention to mentoring strategies in different cities and states. Visit the Mentoring Month web site and see a list of 10 things you can do to support mentoring.

Then take a look at this graphic and past articles I've written about National Mentoring Month.

Start a discussion in your company, faith group, family and social network, using maps like this to focus attention on all of the high poverty neighborhoods where mentor-rich programs are needed to help youth connect with people, ideas and opportunities beyond what is available in their own community.

Start a discussion about ways you can help raise dollars and recruit talent to support programs throughout the city, or in different zip codes. While there are some really great and well known programs, even the largest only serve a small fraction of all of the k-16 youth in Chicago or any other city who need such programs in their lives.

If you don't have a group to connect and share your ideas, join groups I host on Facebook, Linked in or at

While we need to recognize and celebrate the role mentors are taking, we need to think of ways to support the infrastructure that enables long-term connections of mentors and youth to take place.

General Powell does a great job as spokesperson for Mentoring. Let's help him build the logistics needed to make great mentoring programs available in more places.

During January start this discussion. Keep it going throughout the year. Next January celebrate what you have accomplished and build new activities to add greater support in 2014.

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