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About Senior Corps 
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Hurricane Volunteer Support Fund
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, the Corporation is coordinating volunteers to assist with repair and relief efforts in areas affected by this devastating storm. Your donation will support volunteers in providing food and shelter, managing donations, helping victims get necessary assistance, and long-term rebuilding efforts.
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USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 03, 2006

CONTACT: Sandy Scott
Phone: 202-606-6724
Email: [email protected]

Genny Lamboley
Phone: 202-530-4821
Email: [email protected]

   

Cross-Sector Leaders Unveil Major New Plan to Close Mentoring Gap

 

WASHINGTON, D.C.Spearheaded by the Corporation for National and Community Service and MENTOR, leaders from government, nonprofit, and corporate America today launched a national campaign to close the mentoring gap, unveiled a comprehensive blueprint for action, announced a new Federal Mentoring Council, and shared commitments by Fortune 500 companies to find a caring adult mentor for every child that needs one. They also set an initial target of 3 million additional mentoring relationships by the year 2010.

MENTOR unveiled the National Agenda for Action: How to Close America’s Mentoring Gap, a detailed roadmap for closing the mentoring gap that resulted from an 18-month national conversation. The National Agenda for Action identifies 21 action items focused around five interconnected strategic areas related to mentoring: Generate Adequate and Sustainable Funding; Foster a Culture of Mentoring; Safeguard Program Quality, Elevate the Role of Research, and Build Necessary Infrastructure.

“The plan of action we are announcing today is critical to stepping up the pace of using the nation’s resources, both public and private, to give every young person access to someone with experience who can guide them toward a successful and productive life,” said Alan Schwartz, President and Co-COO, Bear Stearns & Co. Inc., who co-chaired the national conversation on mentoring with Haim Saban, Chairman and CEO, Saban Capital Group.

The Corporation for National and Community Service announced a new Federal Mentoring Council to increase collaboration among federal agencies and develop policies to enhance mentoring. The Council will include high-level representatives from the Departments of Education, Labor, Justice, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and others. Theresa Clower, past director of the Delaware Mentoring Council, was named as the Council’s new director.

To help inform the work of the Council, the Corporation and MENTOR announced today they will co-convene a new National Mentoring Working Group consisting of leading mentoring experts and practitioners, including the CEOs of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the Boys and Girls Clubs, America’s Promise, and more. This group will provide input into policymaking, share effective practices, increase collaboration, and help build a culture of mentoring.

At the press conference, MENTOR announced several significant commitments by key players in the corporate and foundation world to help close the mentoring gap. HBO pledged to lead the development of a national awareness and recruitment campaign to get more male and minority mentors; the MetLife Foundation pledged to support mentoring research; and LPL Financial pledged to engage their network of 6,000 employees in mentoring.

“Only by harnessing creativity of the private sector, the passion of nonprofits, and the resources of the federal government can we close the mentoring gap,” said David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation, which invests significant funding each year through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America to mentoring and mentoring-related activities. “If we do this right, we can double the number of mentors by 2010 and have a profound impact on children and youth in America.”

MENTOR and the Corporation also released new studies that shed additional light on the dimensions of the mentoring gap and the characteristics of volunteers who mentor. According to MENTOR’s new study  Mentoring in America 2005: A Snapshot of the Current State of Mentoring,, the number of young people involved in structured one-to-one mentoring relationships has increased nearly 20 percent in just three years, from 2.5 to to 3 million. Given that there are 17.6 million young people in need of a caring adult to help them succeed in life, that leaves a mentoring gap of nearly 15 million youth in need of mentors.

“Our new study finds that 44 million adults in the United States are willing to serve as mentors. Finding ways to bridge the mentoring gap and unite these millions of interested adults with young people is one of the principal challenges facing the mentoring community,” said Gail Manza, Executive Director of MENTOR.

The Corporation’s new report, Volunteers Mentoring Youth: Implications for Closing the Mentoring Gap, analyzes the 2005 Current Population Survey data on volunteering in order to develop a greater understanding of the characteristics that distinguish volunteers who mentor from those who do not. Among the key findings: 43 percent of volunteers engaged in mentoring serve in or through a religious organization; and 59 percent of volunteers who mentor also work full-time.

“This research suggests several key target populations for growing mentoring, especially college students, people of faith, full-time workers, and current volunteers,” said Dr. Robert Grimm, the Corporation’s Director of Research and Policy Development. “The study will help us target our efforts and measure success.”

Previous research has confirmed the value of mentoring as a strategy for helping young people live up to their academic, emotional and social potential. Studies of formal mentoring programs provide strong evidence that mentoring successfully reduces the incidence of delinquency, academic failure and substance use and promotes positive outcomes such as improved self-esteem, social skills and career development. Furthermore, students who take part in successful in-school mentoring programs are less likely to engage in risky behavior, are more likely to attend classes, and feel more connected to school.

To showcase the effect that mentors can have on individuals’ lives, MENTOR also announced the recipients of the first annual Spotlight Award, which recognizes outstanding mentoring pairs. The recipients, who will be honored at a “Spotlight on Mentoring” dinner May 3 at the Willard Hotel, are:

  • Evonne Burkink and Catherine Leick, TeamMates of Norfolk, Norfolk, Nebraska;
  • John Garnica and Mario Rodriguez Cortez, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Ventura County, Fillmore, California;
  • Senator Tom Harkin and Amii Young, Everybody Wins DC!, Washington, D.C.;
  • Dwight Kelly and Terrence Taylor, 100 Black Men of North Metro, Alpharetta, Georgia;
  • Charmaine Robin and Chris John Garcia, Baldwin School District, Baldwin, New York; and
  • Donald Wilford and Adam Hutchinson, State Attorney’s Office, Fourth Judicial Circuit, Jacksonville, Florida .
Thanks to a generous support from Freddie Mac, each of the young people honored by MENTOR’s Spotlight Award will receive a $5,000 scholarship.

MENTOR is leading the national movement to connect young Americans with caring adult mentors. As a national advocate and expert resource, MENTOR delivers the research, policy recommendations, and practical performance tools needed to make quality mentoring a reality for more of America’s young people. For more information, go to http://www.mentoring.org.

The Corporation for National and Community Service provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country through the AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Learn and Serve America programs. Together with the USA Freedom Corps, the Corporation is working to build a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility in America. For more information, go to http://www.nationalservice.gov.

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