18 Jan National Mentoring Month
Ican’t think of a more fitting way to begin 2017 than with a recognition of National Mentoring Month (NMM) this January. The NMM Campaign was launched 15 years ago by the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership. The campaign’s goal is to increase awareness of the importance of mentors in the lives of young people. The concept of mentoring originated in ancient Greece; when Homer’s Odysseus began his legendary odyssey, he left his son, Telemachus, in the care of a companion named Mentor. Since those ancient times, mentoring has played a vital role in the lives of individuals of all ages.
The importance of a mentor in young peoples’ lives today seems obvious, yet one in three young people are growing up without a mentor – that’s 9 million kids lacking someone to give them real-life guidance. The statistics powerfully demonstrate the impact mentors have on the lives of at-risk youth. They are: 52% less likely than peers to skip a day of school, 55% more likely to be enrolled in college, 46% less likely than peers to start using drugs, and a statistic I particularly love – 90% are interested in becoming mentors themselves.
At Menttium we have engaged with professionals in our formal mentoring programs for over 25 years, and our community continues to recognize the tremendous benefits both mentee and mentor receive in their personal and professional lives. Let’s take the opportunity in 2017 to extend those rewards we continue to reap as a mentor, mentee or both, to young people in our communities. To find out more and get involved in your community, go to www.mentoring.org.