MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) and our network of affiliate Mentoring Partnerships will celebrate 25 years of building the mentoring movement on November 9, 2015 in New York City. Since 1990, MENTOR has seen the number of youth mentoring relationships grow from 300,000 to more than four million, an impressive display of mentoring’s growth and impact within our society.
As part of this celebration, we are recognizing the vital leaders who have made tremendous contributions to the mentoring movement through their expertise, influence, and long-standing dedication in helping to ensure we meet the mentoring needs of all of our nation’s young people. With input from national nonprofit leaders, MENTOR board members, our Mentoring Partnerships and other mentoring stakeholders, we bring you these 25 Legends of Mentoring. Any list like this is simply representative of thousands of mentors, mentoring professionals, policy makers, elected officials, media champions, funders, private sector leaders, community leaders, and young people and their families who make the mentoring movement a reality.
We offer our deepest gratitude to the following 25 individuals for their transformative and pioneering innovation and focus on putting young people, relationships, services to others, and connected communities at the center of what it will take to most fully fulfill our promise as a nation. We invite you to learn more about their contributions to the movement and encourage you to share your reflections of their work on social media using #MENTOR25Years.
25 Legends of Mentoring
John M. Bridgeland – Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council under President George W. Bush, Bridgeland was a driving force in the creation of some of the largest federal policy and funding initiatives supporting mentoring including the Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents program He has also been a leading voice and thinker on national service and his current public policy firm, Civic Enterprises, has been a close collaborator with MENTOR including on the development of The Mentoring Effect report released in 2014.
Duncan Campbell – Campbell has founded four youth organizations: Youth Resources, The Children’s Course, the Children’s Institute, and the national nonprofit Friends of the Children, a long term mentoring model for youth facing highest risk. He is a longtime philanthropist and early supporter of MENTOR’s Oregon affiliate, Institute for Youth at Education Northwest (formerly Oregon Mentors).
The Honorable Kay Coles James – Director of the Office of Personnel Management under President George W. Bush, The Hon. Coles James was an early executive director of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership in its formative years. She is the President and Founder of the Gloucester Institute, a leadership training center for young African Americans.
Matilda Cuomo – Among her many accomplishments including serving as former first lady of New York State, Cuomo is the founder of Mentoring USA and a driving force behind the mentoring movement in New York and beyond. . In 1999, she published a book to promote volunteerism and recruit more mentors called The Person Who Changed My Life: Prominent Americans Recall Their Mentors.
John J. Dilulio, Jr. – The first Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives under President George W. Bush and a consultant to President Obama’s transition team, Dilulio was a leader in the creation of the Mentoring Children of Prisoners program. Currently a political science professor at University of Pennsylvania, Dilulio has developed programs provide literacy training in low-income communities, reduce homicides in high-crime police districts, and support inner-city Catholic schools that serve low-income children.
Dr. David Dubois – Dr. Dubois spearheads the Research Board for the National Mentoring Resource Center, operated by MENTOR for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in an effort to drive incorporation of research into mentoring practice for optimal impact. A Community Health Sciences professor at University of Illinois-Chicago School of Public Health, Dr. DuBois is a pioneering mentoring researcher, having authored numerous peer-reviewed studies on mentoring and youth development and is lead co-editor of the Handbook of Youth Mentoring.
Marc Freedman – Freedman is founder and CEO of Encore.org, which is building a movement to tap the skills and experiences of those in mid-life and beyond to improve communities and the world. Freedman is an award-winning social innovator. He authored the seminal mentoring book published in 1993, Kindness of Strangers: Adult Mentors, Urban Youth, and the New Voluntarism chronicling the rise of the mentoring movement and examining its wider implications for education and social policy.
Rev. Dr. Wilson Goode – Rev. Goode is founder of Amachi, Inc. a leading national faith-based mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents established in 2000. Additionally, he broke racial barriers as former mayor of the city of Philadelphia, with youth outreach a key part of his platform during his two-year tenure. He is a nationally renowned trainer and advocate for the mentoring movement and a board member of the America’s Promise Alliance.
John Griffin – CEO of Blue Ridge Capital, Griffin is founder of nationally scaling iMentor which connects youth and volunteers one-on-one, in-person and online to build critical skills that lead to college access and success. Founded in New York, iMentor has been a pioneer in leveraging technology in mentoring. Griffin is an active philanthropist, committed to alleviating poverty and increasing access for young people to quality education.
Quincy Jones – Jones, a celebrated jazz musician, is a longtime National Mentoring Month spokesperson, speaking on behalf of the power of mentoring through nationally televised PSAs and enlisting other to do the same. Through his recent highly acclaimed documentary, Keep On Keepin’ On, depicts the mentoring relationship between music legend and teacher Clark Terry, 89 and Justin Kauflin, a 23 year old blind piano prodigy.
Eugene “Gene” Lang – Lang is a founder of the I Have a Dream Foundation, a pioneering charitable trust founded in 1981 aiming to motivate and empower children from low-income communities to reach their education and career goals through tutoring, mentoring and tuition assistance. Almost 16,000 “dreamers” from 14 cities have graduated college since the program’s founding and the model has inspired the creation of federal programs and other non-profits.
Thomas M. McKenna – McKenna served as Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America from in the early years of MENTOR and was a key collaborator and leader in creating a more broad-based movement built upon BBBSA’s proven success.
William “Bill” Milliken – Milliken is Founder and Vice Chairman of Communities In Schools, Inc. and regarded as one of the nation’s foremost pioneers in the movement to help young people achieve academic success through integrated wraparound support. He was an early thinker and leader on the formation of MENTOR. He is a recipient of the National Jefferson Award for Public Service, regarded by many as the “Nobel Prize” for outstanding community and public service.
John E. Pepper, Jr. – Former CEO for Procter & Gamble, (a past recipient of recognition from MENTOR for their leadership in corporate engagement in youth mentoring), Pepper, Jr. has long invested in young people and their futures. He served as a leading force behind the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, a leading organization providing mentoring and other supports to empower youth to achieve their goals. This past year, CYC was used as the model for Gov. Kasich’s Community Connectors mentoring initiative to foster the growth of mentoring through collaborations between school, non-profit, the faith-based and private sectors. He also serves as Chief Executive Officer of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
C. Gregg Petersmeyer – Petersmeyer is Vice Chair of America’s Promise Alliance, a national nonprofit founded by Gen. Colin Powell devoted to helping to create conditions for success for all young people, for which MENTOR is a founding organization and close collaborator. In his prior role at the White House under former president George H.W. Bush, he was instrumental to the creation of the Points of Light Foundation, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service.
Wintley Phipps – Phipps is a world-renowned vocal artist, education activist, motivational speaker, pastor, and CEO and Founder of the U.S. Dream Academy, a national organization dedicated to helping youth succeed through academic, social, and values enrichment. He has received past recognition from MENTOR for his pioneering work in creating this high-impact blend of academic support and mentoring in an after-school setting for children impacted by parental incarceration and children falling behind in school. His early efforts helped to raise children of incarcerated parents to a national level through his work with both President Clinton and President George W. Bush.
Gen. Colin Powell and Mrs. Alma Powell – For over 15 years, General and Mrs. Powell have generously committed their leadership to improving the lives of youth through America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest partnership focused on the well-being of our young people. Mrs. Powell has been chair of America’s Promise since 2004 and has spent the last four decades advocating for young people and encouraging American’s to engage in volunteer service.
Dr. Jean E. Rhodes – Dr. Rhodes is Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston where she serves as Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring. She is the founder of the Center, which is supported by MENTOR and has quickly become an accessible and prolific source on the latest thinking and findings in mentoring. Dr. Rhodes is a pioneering mentoring researcher, an emeritus board member of MENTOR, and the lead researcher on MENTOR’s cornerstone research-to-practice publication The Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™. She was recently awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Scholarship from the University and was named Distinguished Fellow of the William T. Grant Foundation.
Bill Russell – Russell is a Basketball Hall-of-Fame legend and 13-time champion, a gold-medal Olympic athlete, a Presidential Medal of Honor recipient and human rights advocate, and philanthropist. He is a founding board member of MENTOR and The Bill Russell Legacy Grant Program, co-created by the Celtics and MENTOR affiliate Mass Mentoring Partnership to support mentoring programs in Boston. It was created at Russell’s request in conjunction with the creation a statue in his honor in Boston’s Government Center. Russell coined the phrase, “In the United States of America, there is no such thing as other people’s children.”
Dorothy Stoneman – Stoneman is the founder and CEO of YouthBuild USA, an organization more than 40 years old working to unleash the intelligence and positive energy of low-income young people to rebuild their communities and their lives through training, community engagement and empowerment, education and jobs. YouthBuild USA has built a robust network of 260 urban and rural YouthBuild programs in 46 states serving nearly 10,000 low income young adults in 2014. Stoneman currently serves in various leadership roles in the Aspen Institute’s Opportunity Youth Network, Voices for National Service, America’s Promise, ServiceNation, and others.
Susan L. Taylor – Taylor is an American editor, writer, and journalist and served as editor-in-chief of Essence magazine from 1981 through 2000. In 2006, she launched the National Cares Mentoring Movement, dedicated to connecting more mentors of color to organizations serving young people of color. National Cares was named a recipient of proceeds from the Oprah Chai Starbucks drink, along with three other organizations dedicated to educating our vulnerable children. Taylor is an internationally renowned speaker and a source of inspiration throughout the movement.
Judy Vredenburgh – Vredenburgh is President and CEO of Girls Inc., an organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold serving more than 140,000 girls in the US and Canada. From 1999-2009, Judy served as President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and worked in close collaboration with MENTOR. She was recently honored as one of The NonProfit Times’ Power & Influence Top 50 for her transformational leadership and named one of 100 Women Leaders in STEM by STEMconnector.
John C. Whitehead (in memoriam) – Whitehead spent 37 years on Wall Street at Goldman Sachs, rising to become chairman during that time and retiring as Co-Chairman and Co-Senior Partner. Whitehead served as United States Deputy Secretary of State in Ronald Reagan’s administration from 1985 to 1989 under George Shultz, and was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Reagan. Throughout his life, he was considered a civil servant and a leader in crafting public-private partnerships. He was a leading philanthropic supporter of MENTOR and many social causes and more recently, served as board chair of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation.
Dr. Jay A. Winsten – Dr. Winsten is an associate dean at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Director of the School’s Frank Stanton Center for Health Communication. He is well known for his work in spearheading high-profile national social campaigns such as the “designated driver” to combat driving under the influence. He is a pioneer in mobilizing the immense power of mass communication to motivate positive behavior change. In 2002, in collaboration with MENTOR, he developed National Mentoring Month, a campaign held each January to recruit volunteer mentors for at-risk youth. The campaign has won the support of every e successive U.S. presidents, major media partners, and has helped to establish mentoring as an important national priority and call Americans to mentor.
Robert J. Woody – Mr. Woody, a lawyer and founder of Northstar Financial Services, served as Vice President and a Member of the initial Board of Directors for MENTOR. He was also Special Counsel to the U.S. Delegation to the 33rd General Assembly to the United Nations.