What if the difference between success and failure in life is as simple as knowing that someone is looking over your shoulder and concerned about your future? For many youth, a relationship like that could change their lives.
The connection in mentoring pairing young people with caring adults is a youth development strategy that can create a path to successful adulthood for our children. We know 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
Mentors are not replacements for parents, guardians, or teachers, but they can inspire by example as an important member of the team responsible for a child’s development. (As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.”) They can feel free to expand the boundaries of the adult-child relationship to include more fun experiences that encourage positive choices, promote self-esteem and improve academic achievement.
The outcomes from this relationship create gains for our country through improved educational results, better attitudes and behavior, and reduced juvenile delinquency in children who may fall between the cracks.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) recognizes that mentoring works and is fully committed to promoting effective mentoring models and partnerships. To learn more about CNCS and mentoring, check out this fact sheet.
Initiatives that Make a Difference
CNCS programs mentor more than 1.3 million children annually through AmeriCorps members, Senior Corps volunteers, and the Social Innovation Fund.
More than 1.1 million children are served through AmeriCorps State and National, VISTA, and National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) members through one-on-one mentoring, recruiting volunteers, and building the capacity of mentoring organizations.
Senior Corps volunteers in the RSVP and Foster Grandparent programs touch more than 207,000 youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, reaching many in the early childhood years.
Funding for mentoring organizations is also included in the Social Innovation Fund portfolio of grantees, encouraging the development and expansion of innovative approaches to challenges that have proven results.
Corporate Mentoring Challenge
First Lady Michelle Obama and the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships launched the Corporate Mentoring Challenge in 2011. Directed by CNCS, the Corporate Mentoring Challenge encourages companies to create or expand their mentoring programs or sponsor local mentoring programs that help youth gain leadership skills, achieve their educational goals, and increase their confidence.
Since its inception in 2011, more than 100 companies have committed to the Corporate Mentoring Challenge and have helped young people achieve their goals.
This year’s Corporate Mentoring Challenge launched on January 23, 2013. Recipients will be announced at next year’s National Mentoring Summit.
National Mentoring Month
The Corporation for National and Community Service has partnered with MENTOR and Harvard’s School of Public Health to promote the important role that mentoring can play in academic engagement. National Mentoring Month takes place each year in January and culminates at the National Mentoring Summit.
Looking for a mentoring opportunity? Find one here.