President Obama Proclaims January 2014 National Mentoring Month

Washington, DC — President Barack Obama launched 2014 by declaring January National Mentoring Month through a presidential proclamation. This 13th annual public awareness campaign is aimed at expanding quality mentoring programs to connect more of our nation’s young people with the mentors they need to reach success at school, at home and in their communities and in the workforce. During National Mentoring Month, we celebrate the power of mentoring relationships and the men and women who enrich the lives of our young people. Mentors selflessly give their time and experience to help our youngest generation, and ultimately our country, succeed.

In his proclamation, President Obama said, "We celebrate everyone who teaches, inspires, and guides young Americans as they reach for their dreams." President Obama also noted, "America is at its best when we lift each other up, when we pursue our individual goals while never forgetting that we are bound as one Nation and as one people. If we carry this spirit forward, if we take responsibility for our future leaders and give them the tools to succeed, America's best days will always lie ahead."

Research has shown that when matched through a quality mentoring program, mentors can play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible decisions, stay focused and engaged in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like skipping school, drug use and other negative activities.

Quality mentoring relationships lead to a significant increase in a young person’s prospects for leading a healthy and productive life, strengthening families and our communities. All of these factors are encompassed in the theme Mentoring Works!

"Mentoring has a profound impact on the individuals involved as well as on the community around them and we thank the President for continuing to champion mentoring as a key solution for the nation’s challenges," said David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR. "As we begin a new year full of resolutions, we encourage all Americans to consider giving the gift of their presence and experience to a young person through a diverse variety of mentoring programs that will make sure they are well supported to make a difference."

This National Mentoring Month, as we focus on engaging more community members in volunteering as mentors, we will share a simple message: Be Someone Who Matters to Someone Who Matters. Mentoring relationships are basic human connections that let a young person know that they matter, and mentors frequently report back that their relationships make them feel like someone who matters.

Other important dates for this public awareness campaign include:

  • January 9, 2014: "I Am a Mentor Day," when volunteers across our community and the country will share their stories about being a mentor on social media using #SomeoneWhoMatters.
  • January 16, 2014: "Thank Your Mentor Day," when we encourage anyone who has had a mentor to say thank you by sending a note, a card or sharing a story on social media using #SomeoneWhoMatters.
  • January 20, 2014: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, when our nation will shine a spotlight on volunteerism and inspire people seeking service opportunities to learn more about mentoring.
  • January 30-31, 2014: The fourth annual National Mentoring Summit, which is the signature event for the national mentoring movement, will bring together 700 practitioners, researchers, corporate partners, government and civic leaders, national youth-serving organizations and the Mentoring Partnerships Network in a forum to explore and advance mentoring’s positive impact on individuals and communities.

National Mentoring Month is led by MENTOR: the National Mentoring Partnership, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Harvard School of Public Health, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and United Way Worldwide. Each year since its launch in 2002, National Mentoring Month has enjoyed the strong support of the president and the United States Congress.

View all News Releases