Cross-Country Mentoring News: From the Pittsburgh’s Mayor’s Initiative to Colorado and Back
February 22, 2013: From Pittsburgh's Promise Coaches to Virginia's awards program in the historic Science Museum, as well as two upcoming conference opportunities in New York and Colorado, the youth mentoring field continues to reach new heights and play a key role in helping solve some of the nation's key challenges.
Pittsburgh's Mayor Luke Ravenstahl recently launched his newest mentoring initiative, Promise Coaches, which equips adults with the skills needed to mentor young people through high school and on to higher education, while increasing the number of 'promise ready' students eligible to receive $40,000 for college from The Pittsburgh Promise. Funded by a $100,000 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation and led by the mayor's servePGH initiative - with support from The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania, the United Way of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh Public Schools and The Pittsburgh Promise - a series of mentoring workshops throughout the city will train 500 volunteers by this summer to be Promise Coaches.
Unlike traditional mentoring programs, Promise Coaches does not match adults with young people. Instead, it offers a wealth of resources for mentoring relationships that already exist.
Colleen Fedor, executive director of The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania, said, "This effort will better inform and equip caring adult volunteers to engage and help students navigate high-school and prepare for successful, fulfilling and productive careers. It is a win for students, a win for the volunteers and a win for our city. Joining with Mayor Ravenstahl, we are continuing to build on existing mentoring efforts to ensure that all young people know that we care about them and are here to help them reach their fullest potential."
Promise Coaches is the latest of Ravenstahl's efforts to support and encourage mentoring activities. The Mayor's Mentoring Initiative has partnered with Everybody Wins! and Be a 6th Grade Mentor to successfully recruit nearly 60 city employees as mentors, and the city of Pittsburgh has become the largest local employer to participate in the program for which the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania is also a key partner.
- The 2013 Mentoring Matters Conference March 14 and 15 at the Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus, hosted by the Mentoring Partnership of Long Island, will give program coordinators, mentors and mentees the chance to come together with others in the Long Island mentoring community for uniqueprogramming tracks, keynote speakers and presenters at the leading edge of youth research and services and educational and enjoyable workshops for youth. Co-sponsored by LIU Post and State Farm, this year'sMentoring Matters Conference features keynote speakers Steve Gross, executive director and chief playmaker of the Life is Good Kids Playmakers; Laura Schroff, author ofAn Invisible Thread; and Tammy Tai, MENTOR's chief program officer, who will offer a national perspective on the state of mentoring. The Rabinor Mentoring Achievement Award will be presented, and award-winning singer-songwriter Patricia Shih will perform. For more information, visit www.mentorkids.com.
- The Virginia Mentoring Partnership (VMP) will host the 11th Annual Virginia Mentoring Awards March 14 in Richmond's Science Museum of Virginia. During his event, which also will mark VMP's 20th anniversary, Dominion Resources will receive the S. Buford Scott Leadership Award for community service through mentoring, and The Carver Promise program will receive the special achievement VMP Chairman's Award for providing mentors for students at Carver Elementary School since 1991.To read more about the event and these organizations' commitment to youth mentoring, visit www.vamentoring.org.
- The Colorado Mentoring Symposium 2013 will be April 12 at the Red Lion Hotel Southeast in Denver. The Youth Mentoring Collaborative (YMC) and Serve Colorado are partnering to host this event, with the theme Youth Mentoring: The Next Step. Programming will include workshops with a variety of topics including bullying prevention, collective impact, fund raising, safety, boys in poverty and secondary trauma, as well as an exhibit hall showcasing companies or nonprofits that may benefit youth mentoring programs. MENTOR's President and Chief Executive Officer David Shapiro will be the keynote speaker. For more information and to register for the Colorado Mentoring Symposium, visit www.youthmentoringcollaborative.net.