By Joellen Spacek, Senior Director Mentoring Partnership Network
Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day to day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young pope in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Yet one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset.
MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership is the unifying champion for expanding quality mentoring for America’s young people. MENTOR’s goal is to help young people by generating and driving the investment of time and money into high impact mentoring programs and promoting quality mentoring through the development and delivery of mentoring program standards, cutting-edge research and state-of-the-art tools. MENTOR accomplishes this work in collaboration with an affiliate network of Mentoring Partnerships. These are non-partisan, public-private organizations that galvanize local, statewide or regional mentoring movements, and provide the leadership and infrastructure necessary to capitalize on the favorable mentoring climate and close the mentoring gap.
In order to lead the local mentoring movement, Mentoring Partnerships assess their local, statewide or regional mentoring needs, then offer and implement plans to:
- Expand the capacity of agencies to provide high-quality mentoring programs;
- Ensure quality standards in all mentoring efforts;
- Significantly increase the number of youth in quality mentoring relationships;
- Convene local mentoring providers, and promote networking, collaboration and shared learning;
- Multiply and leverage the human, financial and in-kind resources dedicated to mentoring initiatives;
- Expand the number and types of organizations – non-profits, faith communities, corporations, schools, civic groups and universities—that are equipped to start, manage and expand a mentoring initiative; and,
- Advocate for legislation, policies and funding that support the mentoring movement locally and nationally.
Through the leadership of United Way of the National Capital Area, Deloitte and local mentoring leaders have focused on developing an affiliate to lead the local mentoring movement. The intention is to recruit more mentors and establish and foster partnerships with businesses, government, other nonprofits, and the surrounding communities to enable organizations to tap into resources to better equip them to deliver quality youth mentoring, and create a dialogue around improving youth mentoring practices, and spark action to begin implementing steps to improve the state of youth mentoring in the Greater Washington, DC area. Youth are the future of this region and our country. The better we prepare them for their futures, the better off society will be as a whole.
Did you know 70 percent of mentoring organizations in the National Capital community do not have enough mentors? Sign up to change that today.