Paying it Forward: Celebrating National Mentoring Month

January is National Mentoring Month. Created in 2002 by The National Mentoring Partnership and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, this month highlights the continuing need for mentors within communities.

National Mentoring Month, also known as NMM, strives to raise awareness of mentoring in its many forms, from formal educational programs to causal group meetings. This month also encourages individuals to join initiatives to serve the growing list of young people waiting for mentors. Lastly, this month promotes local, state, and federal levels to organize mentorship outreach.

MERS Goodwill is proud to be a partner with the United Way of Greater St. Louis to help local youth connect with experienced mentors to accomplish their goals and reach their potential. Programs like ServiceWorks St. Louis help 16-24 year-olds with business skills, goal-planning, and problem solving. These programs offer group workshops and one-on-one mentoring, as well as volunteer opportunities to help boost the mentees future resumes.

This is the 15th anniversary of the National Mentoring Month. The program was developed by MENTOR, the National Mentoring Partnership, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to bridge the gap between adults and young people. Many adults want to help members of their young community, and young people want to learn the secrets of success. National Mentoring Month helps these two groups connect and grow.

Since its creation, this program has been supported by U.S. presidents, Congress members, and famous figures like the late Maya Angelou, Quincy Jones, and General Colin L. Powell.

There are several important January dates throughout National Mentoring Month including:

January 12, 2017: “I Am a Mentor Day” – Volunteers from all around the country share their stores about being a mentor through social hashtag #MentorIRL.

January 16, 2017: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service – Honoring the Civil Rights legend and continuing his legacy for a new generation, this day encourages people from all background to seek volunteer opportunities.

January 17, 2017: International Mentoring Day – Focuses on the impact of mentors while sharing stories and ideas on how to expand mentoring globally.

January 19, 2017: Thank Your Mentor Day – Expresses feelings of gratitude to all mentors, mentees are encouraged to thank their role models with a note, card, or through social media.

National Mentoring Month concludes with the 7th annual National Mentoring Summit, which is the keynote finale of the national mentoring program. This event invites researchers, business partners, and government leaders to support hundreds of attendees and their mentoring programs.

MERS Goodwill and its partners strive to equip young people with the skills needed for rewarding careers and a successful life. To learn more about how you can help the youth in our area, visit the St. Louis United Way website.