The National Mentoring Summit featured four plenary sessions that brought together all event attendees. The morning and afternoon plenary descriptions are below.


Thursday, January 30th

Morning Plenary Session

8:00am - 9:00am

Legendary baseball player Cal Ripken, Jr. headlines National Mentoring Summit - Along with special opening remarks by a mentor-mentee pair, this plenary kicks off the 2014 National Mentoring Summit and begins to explore the theme of “Mentoring Works”.  Cal Ripken Jr., known as baseball's all-time Iron Man playing 21 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and earning a record-breaking career, will be the featured opening speaker at the 2014 National Mentoring Summit. Since retiring from baseball in 2001, Ripken has focused the same energy and commitment that drove his major league career into philanthropic programs that help teach critical life lessons and bring real opportunity to young people in distressed communities. The value of mentoring is core to Cal Ripken Jr.'s success and his philanthropic philosophy. Through the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, named in honor of his father - also a baseball player and long-time coach and mentor in professional baseball - his work has connected thousands of young people to caring adults in their communities. 


Lunch Plenary Session

1:00pm - 2:30pm

Mentoring’s Role in Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline

Panel Moderator: David Gregory, NBC News’ Meet the Press Moderator


●        Robert Listenbee, Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

●        Roger Jarjoura, Principal Researcher, Human and Social Development Program, American Institutes for Research

●        Laurie Parise, Executive Director and Founder, Youth Represent

●        James Anderson, Program Administrator, Anti-Recidivism Coalition


James Anderson spent five years in and out of the California prison system before the age of 20.  In his own words he says, "I felt so worthless that I believed that's where I belonged. I was that kid that you pointed at and said 'forget about him. He's hopeless. He's never going to change.' Yet one person came into my life and helped me realize I was worth something." That person became his mentor.

The Unites States leads the industrialized world in the rate at which young people are incarcerated. This system is costly to operate, puts youth at risk for injury and abuse and has been proven ineffective in reducing recidivism. This panel will explore ways to keep young people from becoming involved with the juvenile justice system, and demonstrate how mentoring relationships and the wider mentoring field work to interrupt and dismantle the school to prison pipeline and how the impact of those efforts can be enhanced.


Friday, January 31st

Morning Plenary Session

8:00am - 9:00am

The Mentoring Effect: Young People’s Perspectives on the Outcomes and Availability of Mentoring


  • John Bridgeland CEO, Civic Enterprises
  • David Shapiro President and CEO, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
  • John Gomperts President and CEO, America’s Promise Alliance
  • Mark Edwards Executive Director, Opportunity Nation
  • Jean Rhodes, PhD., Director, Center for Evidence-based Mentoring, University of Massachusetts
  • Marty Martinez, President and CEO, Mass Mentoring Partnership

This panel will explore the insights gained from the first-ever nationally representative survey of young people on the topic of mentoring.  Commissioned by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, with support from AT&T and written by Mary Bruce and John Bridgeland of Civic Enterprises with Hart Research, the report is consistent with research that shows that young people in mentoring relationships experience significant positive life outcomes related to academics, community involvement and leadership, and career development.  Young people were asked about both their informal and formal mentoring relationships and revealed that these relationships provided them with positive and complementary benefits on a variety of personal, academic and professional factors.  While progress has been made with an estimated 4.5 million young people in a structured mentoring relationship today, an increase from the estimate of 300,000 from the early 1990s, the report describes an ongoing mentoring gap that the nation must close.  The report found that more than one in three young people, an estimated 16 million young people, including 9 million at-risk youth, have never had an adult mentor of any kind.   MENTOR CEO David Shapiro will be joined by leaders from the youth development field to discuss the implications of this report including recommendations for the holistic integration of mentoring in national, state, and local initiatives to drive achievement and increase opportunity for young people at school, home and work.


Lunch Plenary Session

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Mentoring Works: Peacemaking and the Role of Mentoring

Panel Moderator: Tammy Tai, Chief Program Officer, MENTOR

 Peace First Prize Winner Panelists:

●        Babtunde Salaam, 21, Baltimore, Maryland

●        Mary-Patricia Hector, 15, Lithonia, Georgia

●        Danielle Liebl, 22, St. Joseph, Minnesota

This panel brings this year’s theme of Mentoring Works to life. Awardees of the inaugural Peace First Prize will describe the peacemaking work they are leading and the role mentoring has played in their development and commitment to social justice. The Peace First Prize (envisioned as the “Nobel Peace Prize” for youth) recognizes young people ages 8-22 who are making a real difference in their communities – by launching projects to stop bullying, promote inclusion, or end violence – and awards winners with a 2-year Fellowship to further their peacemaking work. The Fellowship includes convenings, personalized coaching, networking, and mentoring to invest in the long-term capacity for winners to be peace leaders. The panel discussion will include opening remarks and key learnings from Peace First President and Founder, Eric Dawson.