Excellence in Mentoring in America Awards To Be Presented at the Library of Congress

January 16, 2013: MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership's board of directors members proudly announce the 2013 Excellence in Mentoring in America awards. These awards are given to political leaders, corporations and individuals who have moved the needle on expanding quality youth mentoring in America. The awards will be presented to the recipients at a special reception and dinner at the Library of Congress Wednesday, January 23, as a kickoff event for the third annual National Mentoring Summit.

Another highlight of the evening will include special remarks from Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

The award recipients have gone above and beyond in mentoring by leading policy efforts; corporate or philanthropic support; and demonstrating extraordinary commitment to enhance and expand mentoring opportunities for our young people. Librarian of Congress Dr. James Billington, Chairman of MENTOR Willem Kooyker and Co-Founder of MENTOR Geoff Boisi also will provide remarks.

"MENTOR is honored to give these awards to such worthy and noble recipients," said MENTOR's President and Chief Executive Officer David Shapiro. "We look forward to ensuring this special recognition and the tireless energy directed to expanding quality mentoring resonates with as many people as possible around the nation. Senator Schumer and Senator Hatch, 3M, Peter Koch and Dr. Paredes are role models for us all and demonstrate the effect individuals in all sectors and through diverse actions can have in ensuring we can reach a day when every child who wants and needs a mentor will have one."

The awards recipients include:


Excellence in Mentoring in America: Civic Leadership
Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Orrin Hatch

  • The Honorable Charles Schumer (D, NY) and the Honorable Orrin Hatch (R, UT) are receiving this prestigious award for their tireless and passionate support of the Child Protection Improvements Act. Their hard work on this critical legislation would allow youth serving organizations timely access to a permanent, nationwide system of FBI background checks on potential volunteers and staff, enabling programs to balance providing caring adult mentors with safety for our young people.

Excellence in Mentoring in America: Corporate Leadership 


  • 3M is the recipient of this award because of their unwavering and generous commitment to advance mentoring throughout the nation and, in particular, in the state of Minnesota. In 2011 alone, 3M awarded $60.9 million to education and charitable organizations.  3M's investment in the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota was critical in getting it off the ground, and 3M's leadership has supported the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota's commitment to quality mentoring and solid infrastructure. 3M not only provides resources but also encourages employee engagement in a wide range of mentoring programs.

Excellence in Mentoring in America:  Individual Leadership

Peter Koch

  • As the chief executive officer of Koch Eye Associates, Rhode Island's largest eye care practice,Peter Koch has been a staunch advocate for mentoring for 20 years and has mentored two students himself, while also offering his employees in Warwick and Woonsocket time to volunteer as mentors. He sponsors recreational and educational field trips for his company's mentors and mentees and has arranged for mentored youth to have free eye exams at Koch Eye. Koch has been a board member for the Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership for 15 years, currently serving as treasurer. He is a donor, a corporate sponsor, chair of the partnership's golf tournament and catalyst for funding to the Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership. In honor of his father, he closes his office one day every year so all of his 300 employees can volunteer. 

Dr. Raymund Paredes

  • Dr. Raymund Paredes is being recognized for his extraordinary volunteer leadership of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America's Nationwide Hispanic Advisory Council, as well as his career dedication to expanding opportunities for young people through education and culture. It is remarkable how this current has run through his career in diverse sectors from academia and philanthropy to nonprofit and government. Paredes currently is commissioner of higher education at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and is a director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. He also has been vice president and programs at the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and director of creativity and culture at the Rockefeller Foundation, where he managed a budget of more than $20 million and awarded more than 200 grants annually in the arts and humanities to individuals and organizations around the world.

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