Leaders in the Youth Mentoring Movement to Receive National Excellence in Mentoring Award

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
January 8th, 2016
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Dr. Sharon Rose Powell, Belkis Plata and Curley M. Dossman, Jr.

WASHINGTON – On January 27, 2016, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) will honor champions of mentoring with the presentation of the annual Excellence in Mentoring Awards.  Held at a special Library of Congress reception, this event will kick off the sixth-annual National Mentoring Summit.  These awards honor individuals who have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to meeting the mentoring needs of young people at the national, state or local level. Nominations were submitted by members of MENTOR’s national network of affiliate Mentoring Partnerships and national mentoring and youth-serving partner organizations.

“This past year MENTOR celebrated 25 years of building and unifying a youth mentoring movement.  It has only been through the continued support of our nation’s leaders across all sectors that our success in advancing the movement has been possible,” MENTOR CEO David Shapiro said.  “This year’s group represents the innovation and commitment necessary to help close the mentoring gap.”

The Honorees

UPDATEDSharon-Rose-PowellDr. Sharon Rose Powell demonstrates a life-long commitment to expanding quality mentoring relationships for young people
through her work as an educator, licensed psychologist and founder of a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the school experience for students.  Dr. Powell’s commitment to mentoring and her achievements in taking evidence-based mentoring programs to a national scale are best illustrated in her creation of the Peer Group Connection (PGC) program, a school-based, peer group mentoring model that enlists students to significantly improve the school experience for themselves and their peers.  Dr. Powell founded the Center for Supportive Schools with the goal of taking PGC to scale by partnering with school districts and building their capacity to implement and sustain the model.  The program has been implemented in more than 175 high schools in urban, suburban and rural communities across the country.  Dr. Powell has been the recipient of several awards for her innovative work and achievements in student leadership development, including the Alumnae Achievement Award from the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She was nominated for this award by the Center for Supportive Schools.

“Based on our experience in hundreds of schools across the country utilizing the peer mentoring model, mentoring is a gift that keeps on giving – for freshmen transitioning into high schools; for upperclassmen who serve as peer leaders; and also for the teachers that lead Peer Group Connection in the schools.  Mentoring is a very personal experience of giving back and is an institutional obligation for every school in our country,” Powell said.

CaptureBelkis Plata of Plata Schott Attorneys & Counselors at Law has dedicated much of her life to helping young people in need.  The youngest Hispanic woman to open a law firm in Jacksonville, FL, Plata has long advocated for the rights of America’s young people, representing hundreds of children charged with both misdemeanors and felonies in juvenile court.  While in law school, Plata worked for the Center of Race and Race Relations, the Reichert House Youth Academy and was a member of GatorTeam Child Juvenile Law Clinic.  A former mentee at Take Stock in Children, an organization providing an opportunity for low-income youth to escape the cycle of poverty through education, Plata has supported and believed in the power of mentoring for nearly 18 years.  Today, she mentors three students through the Take Stock in Children program, and in 2015 was named Take Stock in Children’s 2015 Alumni of the Year.  She was nominated for this award by Take Stock in Children.

“Mentoring means dedication of one’s time with the sole purpose of inspiring, motivating, educating and supporting another individual.  Take Stock focuses on youth during the time in a child’s life when they need all of the support and guidance they can get.  Having the support of another caring adult during some of the most challenging years of my life made me want to give back and pay it forward for someone else.  I believe that we are each in this world together to serve a purpose.  I may not be able to reach every child, but Take Stock allows me to make a significant impact in the life of at least a few.  If we were each as lucky to give back in this rewarding way, our youth would be that much more empowered and prepared to reach their dreams and goals, which will impact the world in ways we could have never even dreamed,” Plata said.

Curley DossmanCurley M. Dossman, Jr., president of the Georgia-Pacific Foundation and chairman of the board of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. (The 100), has been mentoring young people for over four decades.  Dossman is a local, regional and national champion for mentoring, and serves as a mentor to college students and young professionals at Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Morehouse College, and other organizations in which he is actively engaged.  As chairman of the board of the 100 Black Men of America, the largest African American led mentoring organization in the country, Dossman has helped lead The 100 to become a leading international mentoring organization.  As a result of his commitment to mentoring, Dossman was recognized as “Outstanding Mentor of the Year” in September 2015 by the Southern Company during the Congressional Black Caucus, named one of the most influential Blacks in America in Ebony Magazine’s 2015 Power 100 List, and honored by Voices for Georgia’s Children for his leadership in youth mentoring.  He was nominated for this award by 100 Black Men of America, Inc.

“I am honored to receive this award on behalf of 100 Black Men of America, Inc.  Living up to The 100’s motto – “What They See Is What They’ll Be,” – our mentors positively affect the life trajectory of marginalized and underrepresented youth and reshape communities through our focus on creating positive, nurturing mentoring relationships that extend across a lifetime, creating educational opportunities, promoting economic empowerment and addressing health disparities.  I am proud of the impactful outcomes that we consistently deliver.”

The National Mentoring Summit, convened by MENTOR, is the only national forum that brings together practitioners, researchers, corporate partners, government and civic leaders, national youth-serving organizations and the network of affiliate Mentoring Partnerships to explore and advance mentoring’s positive impact on individuals and communities.

About MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership is the unifying champion for quality youth mentoring in the United States. MENTOR’s mission is to close the “mentoring gap” and ensure our nation’s young people have the support they need through quality mentoring relationships to succeed at home, school, and ultimately, work. To achieve this, MENTOR collaborates with its network of affiliate Mentoring Partnerships and works to drive the investment of time and money into high impact mentoring programs and advance quality mentoring through the development and delivery of standards, cutting-edge research and state-of-the-art tools. Connect with MENTOR on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Contact: Kristin Howard, Senior Director, Development| 617.303.4610| khoward@mentoring.org