January is 'National Mentoring Month'

Posted by Aja Williams on
WikiMedia Commons

The first month of the new year is a time for keeping up with resolutions and possibly making a fresh start with new adventures such as helping someone young.

January is National Mentoring Month, which takes time to celebrate and recognize those who are helping youth. It's also the time to understand the purpose of mentoring. President Barack Obama declared this month National Mentoring Month in knowing the impact an adult can have upon someone's young life.

Mentor can be defined as "someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person," according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

According to the Building a Grad Nation Report 2014, student success not only depends on what is in the classroom but other skills such as self-awareness, conflict resolution and collaboration, which can be gained from positive role models.

A National Mentoring Partnership report further supports the above noted research in saying that: 

Effective mentoring—sustained, high-quality relationships with youth—serves as an important, and perhaps even necessary, developmental asset in the lives of youth. Practitioners that are engaged in effective mentoring and providing youth with opportu- nities to build life skills and to undertake leadership of valued community activities can facilitate the development among young people of the several key indicators of positive youth development: the Five Cs of competence, confidence, connection, character, and caring and, as well, the “sixth C” of contribution to self and society. Within the context of the “Big 3” features of effective youth development programs, practitioners have available to them a rich array of actions they may take to foster positive development among adolescents.

Caring and consistent adults who are working to help improve the outcomes of youth can help make an even larger impact on the road to graduation.

Throughout the month of January, several organizations will discuss the power of mentoring as well as what it takes to become a mentor.

The National Mentoring Partnership is also hoping to get community members engaged in mentoring and finding out more about the power it provides.

Follow the conversation in mentoring this month with the following hashtags: #NationalMentoringMonth #SomeoneWhoMatters #MentoringWorks and #MentoringEffect.  

To celebrate your mentor or someone in your community, recognize them as a champion.