Mentoring Is Cornerstone in Pittsburgh Mayor’s Service Plan

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has announced that a new program encouraging city employees to serve as mentors to middle-school students will be part of this effort.

In March, Ravenstahl launched Pittsburgh’s first citywide, high-impact service plan and called on residents to help. Titled servePGH, the plan seeks to match community volunteers with five key service initiatives that address the mayor’s top priorities of youth engagement and neighborhood revitalization.

One of the signature initiatives within servePGH is the Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative, which gives special allowance for city employees to serve as mentors during the work week, aiming to increase the number of youth with mentors and, ultimately, to increase students’ engagement in school. Ravenstahl has committed to mentoring a sixth grade student beginning this fall.

The Mentoring Initiative was launched in partnership with “Be a 6th Grade Mentor,” the largest mentoring recruitment effort in the region’s history, initiated by the Youth Futures Commission and developed collaboratively by The United Way of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh Public Schools and The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania, a MENTOR affiliate.

“Mentoring provides an opportunity not only to make a difference in the lives of others, but also to impact the future of our community,” said The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s Executive Director Colleen Fedor. “We are so proud of our city for recognizing its importance and encouraging people to get involved.”

“For years, The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania has been a leader in building relationships across sectors, including advocacy outreach with local, state and federal government representatives,” said MENTOR’s President and CEO Dr. Larry Wright. “We are excited for them to have the opportunity to work with Mayor Ravenstahl and all of Pittsburgh on this mentoring initiative.”

Cities of Service was founded in 2009 by 17 mayors from cities around the nation, including Pittsburgh’s Ravenstahl. It is a bipartisan coalition of mayors who have committed to work together to engage citizens in a multi-year effort to address pressing city needs through impact volunteerism. The coalition includes more than 100 mayors, representing more than 49 million Americans. The Cities of Service Leadership Grants, funded jointly by the Rockefeller Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies, enable cities to hire chief service officers to develop and implement high- impact service plans.

For more information about Cities of Service, go to www.citiesofservice.org. For more information about servePGH and the Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative in Pittsburgh, visit servepgh.pittsburghpa.gov.  For more information about The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania, visit www.mentoringpittsburgh.org

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