NEW DATA SHOWS MENTORING AS A PROVEN TOOL TO HELP COMBAT CHALLENGES FOR DISCONNECTED YOUTH
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Mayor Bloomberg’s Office Release Groundbreaking Data
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The second annual National Mentoring Summit, hosted by MENTOR, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Harvard School of Public Health, The Office of Juvenile and Justice Prevention and United Way Worldwide, on January 24, provided the backdrop for outstanding data linking mentoring to positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth who face adversity.
Mack Koonce, co-CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA), announced the Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Report at a luncheon during the Summit. The groundbreaking report shows statistically significant improvements for youth during the first year of enrollment in the organization’s nationwide mentoring program in three targeted outcome areas – educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, such as truancy, and socio-emotional competency. “Youth progress in these areas is linked to longer-term outcomes, such as high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency and college or job readiness,” Koonce added. “Big Brothers Big Sisters’ continued internal and external research that feed into our outcomes evaluations systems enhance our capabilities to serve youth and communities with increasingly greater impact.” For more information on the report, along with additional information contained in the 2011 Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Survey (YOS).
Complementing the BBBSA study, Leslie A. Cornfeld, special advisor, Office of the New York City Mayor, and chair of the mayor’s Interagency Task Force on Truancy, Chronic Absenteeism & School Engagement, spoke about the innovative NYC Success Mentor Corps program launched by Mayor Bloomberg’s Task Force on Truancy, Chronic Absenteeism & School Engagement. She called the initiative a research-based, data-driven mentoring model that seeks to improve school attendance, behavior and educational outcomes for at-risk students in low-income communities citywide.
The initiative, known as Success Mentors, operates from the mayor’s office in partnership with the New York City (NYC) Department of Education and is uniquely positioned for impact. Success Mentors come into schools at a leadership level, have direct access to key school leaders and community organizations, have unprecedented access to critical student data, are able to take advantage of interagency resources and expertise, and are part of a centralized, innovative infrastructure that evaluates and supports their work in real time. She said that Mayor Bloomberg is committed to expanding innovative, high impact mentoring for NYC’s youth to help them succeed in school and in life. She urged others at the conference to consider being the “engine to close the mentoring gap” by encouraging such partnerships in other cities. “New York City is committed to being a national leader in innovative, high impact, evidence-based models of mentoring to help NYC youth succeed in school, and in life,” said Cornfeld. “In partnership with the Department of Education and mentoring leaders like MENTOR, we are reaching over 4,000 at-risk students in a little over a year through the NYC Success Mentor program, which resulted in chronically absent students with mentors gaining over 7,000 days of attendance last year.”
“It is an honor to present two examples of the way mentoring is moving the needle for our young people,” said David Shapiro, president and CEO of MENTOR. “It is important that this data is coming from the nonprofit community, as it underscores the community’s commitment to ensuring solid, metric-driven results.”
The National Mentoring Summit was held Tuesday, January 24, and Wednesday, January 25, at The Fairmont in Washington, D.C. The Summit’s Presenting Sponsor is Viacom. Bank of America and BNY Mellon are Supporting Sponsors for the events. For more information, please contact Ellen Christman at (703)224-2255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Success Mentors, visit www.nyc.gov/html/truency.
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MENTOR is the lead champion for youth mentoring in the United States. MENTOR’s goal is to help children by providing a public voice, developing and delivering resources to mentoring programs nationwide and promoting quality for mentoring through standards, cutting-edge research and state of the art tools. MENTOR works closely with State Mentoring Partnerships and volunteer centers throughout the country, serving more than 3 million children in all 50 states. There are currently 18 million children in the US who want and need a mentor but only three million have one. MENTOR’s mission is to close that gap so that every one of those 15 million children has a caring adult in their life. Founded in 1990, MENTOR is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. For more information, visit: www.mentoring.org
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children (“Littles”) with screened volunteer mentors (“Bigs”) and monitors and supports them in one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their course. The organization holds itself accountable for children in the program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as higher aspirations; greater confidence and better relationships; educational success; and avoidance of delinquency and other risky behaviors. Most children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters are in single-parent and low-income families or households where a parent is incarcerated. Headquartered in Philadelphia with a network of about 370 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves nearly 250,000 children.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a Federal agency with the mission to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. Last year, the agency engaged more than 5.5 million Americans in results-driven service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs. For more information, NationalService.gov.
About The Harvard Mentoring Project
The Harvard Mentoring Project (HMP) of the Harvard School of Public Health was launched in 1997 to mobilize the national media and leading Hollywood studios to promote the growth of the mentoring as a public health intervention of proven effectiveness for positive youth development. HMP is an initiative of the School’s Center for Health Communication, which is dedicated to promoting the adoption of healthy behaviors through mass communication. The Harvard Mentoring School of Public Health and MENTOR created and spearheaded the first-ever National Mentoring Month in January 2002. For more information, visit WhoMentoredYou.org.
About the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) provides national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization. OJJDP supports states and communities in their efforts to develop and implement effective and coordinated prevention and intervention programs and to improve the juvenile justice system so that it protects public safety, holds offenders accountable, and provides treatment and rehabilitative services tailored to the needs of juveniles and their families. For more information about OJJDP, visit www.ojjdp.gov
About United Way USA
United Way USA is comprised of more than 1,200 community-based United Ways in the U.S., and it is part of United Way Worldwide, a network of nearly 1,800 United Ways in 40 countries and territories. It advances the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all, by focusing on education, income and health – the building blocks for a good quality of life. United Way recruits the people and organizations from all across the community who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED is a call to action for everyone to become part of the change. For more information, please visit: www.LIVEUNITED.org
About National Mentoring Month
National Mentoring Month is a national campaign to recruit volunteer mentors, spearheaded by The Harvard Mentoring Project of the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Held each January, the campaign highlights the crucial role played by mentors in helping young people achieve their potential. The campaign’s goals are to mobilize larger numbers of community volunteers to serve as mentors to young people and to promote awareness of the power of mentoring to enhance a young person’s prospects for leading a healthy and productive life. Research shows that mentoring programs have beneficial and long-term effects, increasing the rate of high school graduation and college attendance and decreasing the likelihood of substance abuse and other risky behaviors. For more information about National Mentoring Month, visit www.nationalmentoringmonth.org.