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National Mentor Month

The 7th Annual National Mentoring Month (NMM) campaign is underway this month with broad support from governors, mayors, businesses, nonprofit groups, and celebrities across the country. The campaign’s goal is to recruit volunteer mentors to help young people achieve their full potential. The campaign’s theme is “Share What You Know. Mentor a Child.”

National Mentoring Month is spearheaded by the Harvard Mentoring Project of the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Sponsors include MetLife Foundation, The Curtis L. Carlson Family Foundation, and The MCJ Foundation. Media partners include: ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC; Comcast; National Association of Broadcasters; Time Warner; and Viacom.

Participants in the National Mentoring Month campaign include leading nonprofit organizations and numerous governors and mayors. In communities across the country, designated nonprofit and governmental agencies are responsible for coordinating local campaign activities, including media outreach and volunteer recruitment. These local lead partners include state and local affiliates of MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, Corporation for National and Community Service, Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network, America's Promise Alliance, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Communities in Schools, and United Way of America.

Here are highlights of the campaign:

* General Colin L. Powell appears in public service announcements (PSAs) on television and radio to promote the recruitment of volunteer mentors. His message focuses on the importance of mentoring, and the benefits to the mentor as well as the child. Ten years ago, prior to his term as U.S. Secretary of State, General Powell founded the America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest multi-sector collaborative dedicated to the well-being of children and youth.

* Grammy Award-winning R&B recording artist Usher and music icon Quincy Jones are featured in campaign PSAs. Usher talks about the influence of Quincy Jones as his mentor, and they appear together in one PSA. Another spot showcases how Usher’s New Look Foundation is "passing it on" to the next generation through Camp New Look, a summer camp for teenagers that teaches business skills for pursuing careers in entertainment and sports.

* NMM 2008 also features the launch of the campaign’s ReelPeople Project. Local lead partners were invited to nominate mentor/mentee pairs as candidates for starring roles in national TV PSAs. The two pairs chosen for this year’s PSAs were nominated by: Bay Area Mentoring (San Francisco) on behalf of Friends for Youth; and, the Governor's Commission on Community Service in Denver, Colorado on behalf of Denver Kids, Inc., a member program of the Youth Mentoring Collaborative.

* MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership has scheduled a new series of PSAs to launch in January 2008 in support of National Mentoring Month and continue throughout the year. The PSAs are contemporary, colorful, with a direct call to action. They feature well-known actors, athletes, and other celebrities in support of mentoring.

* On January 21, the National Mentoring Month campaign will join in celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, which is spearheaded nationally by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

* Thank Your Mentor Day™ will be celebrated on Thursday, January 24. On that day, many Americans will reach out to thank or honor those individuals who encouraged and guided them, and had a lasting impact on their lives. Thank Your Mentor Day™ promotes Four Ways to Honor Your Mentor: 1) contact your mentor directly to express your appreciation; 2) pass it on by becoming a mentor to a young person in your community; 3) make a financial contribution to a local mentoring program; and, 4) write a tribute to your mentor for posting on the campaign’s Web site.

Additional information about National Mentoring Month is available at www.WhoMentoredYou.org.

Thank Your Mentor Day™ is a trademarked initiative of the Harvard School of Public Health.

Quincy Jones

PSA

Watch a public service announcement featuring General Colin L. Powell in support of National Mentoring Month.


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