Each new year draws millions to make resolutions designed to change their lives. And while the focus on self-improvement is fine, the arrival of National Mentoring Month gives us an opportunity to recognize men and women who channel their energy to helping and inspiring young people toward a brighter future.
Leading by example, mentors become role models who help point children in the right direction. This special relationship -- combined with the guidance of parents, guardians, and teachers—can mean the difference between success and failure for many youth. Studies have shown that youth who have a mentor are more likely to:
- Attend and be more engaged in school (Students with mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip classes.)
- Finish high school and continue onto college
- Form more positive social attitudes and relationships
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) recognizes the difference mentors can make in helping youth reach their full potential. CNCS directs the Corporate Mentoring Challenge, and our programs mentor more than 1.3 million disadvantaged children annually through AmeriCorps members, Senior Corps volunteers, and the Social Innovation Fund.
The Corporate Mentoring Challenge encourages companies to create, expand, or sponsor mentoring programs that help youth gain leadership skills, achieve their educational goals, and increase their confidence. More than 100 companies have committed to the challenge since its launch in 2011 led by First Lady Michelle Obama and the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
During National Mentoring Month, mentors are asked to raise their hand on social media during I Am a Mentor Day on Jan. 10 and those who benefitted from mentors are encouraged to contact the individuals who guided them during Thank Your Mentor Day on Jan. 17.
First Lady Michelle Obama made a fantastic case for mentoring during a speech this summer, saying, “when you've worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity ... you do not slam it shut behind you ... you reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.”
To learn more about mentoring and how you can make a difference in the life of a child, visit our mentoring page.