Gov. Laura Kelly signed a proclamation declaring January 2021 as Mentoring Month in Kansas to coincide with National Mentoring Month.
This proclamation recognizes the fact that quality mentoring programs across our state are connecting mentors with young people. These cultivated relationships provide crucial support and guidance as young people grow and develop into the next generation of leaders, said Paula Smith, director of Mentor Kansas.
Mentor Kansas is a statewide mentoring partnership that connects more than 150 mentoring programs. Mentor Kansas’ mission is to promote safe and effective youth mentoring practices and inspire more Kansans to be mentors. Mentor Kansas is an affiliate of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership.
Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development and social and economic opportunity, according to The Mentoring Effect, 2014. However, one in three young people will grow up without the critical asset of mentoring.
“A great mentor can significantly impact a young person’s life, in turn inspiring the potential of all young people in Kansas,” Smith said.
Young people who face risk factors, but who have a mentor, are 55% more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor; 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities; and more than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.
Mentoring Month is an opportunity to highlight mentoring programs that produce these positive benefits, and to focus on strategies to grow their capacity to ensure every young person has a mentor.
“Mentoring programs have leveraged National Mentoring Month as an opportunity to not only raise awareness, but to get their communities engaged in this effort to provide a critical support to our young people,” said David Shapiro, president and CEO of MENTOR. “It’s only with this level of commitment and involvement that we can ensure every young person has the supportive relationships they need to grow and develop into thriving, productive and engaged adults.”
For more information, please visit www.mentorkansas.org.
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