9 million kids in America are growing up without an answer to this question. They make everyday choices that lead up to life’s big decisions without enough guidance and support – the kind most of us count on. Every kid should have someone to turn to.
Mentoring provides meaningful connections that impact the people involved and influences their lives at home, at work and in their communities. For those who are being mentored, it is linked to improved academic, social and economic prospects. For those who are mentoring, the relationship can build leadership and management skills, expand a mentor’s professional network, and provide an empowering opportunity to give back to the community.
We are building a grassroots movement of natural mentors like teachers, coaches and family friends, formal mentors who work with a mentoring program, public and private sector supporters, donors and advocates who believe that an asset so critical — mentoring — cannot be left to chance. A movement to connect every young person to the kind of meaningful relationships that provide us all with networks of support and opportunity.
Watch the videos below to learn more about the power of mentoring! Hear directly from people who know the difference a mentor can make, including former President Barack Obama, musician Kendrick Lamar, actor Michael B. Jordan, and NBA stars Karl-Anthony Towns, Carmelo Anthony, Al Horford, Steph Curry, and Kevin Durant.
You can also watch our Mentoring Flipped video series where young people “mentor” celebrities in the area of expertise for which they are best known! Watch athlete Laila Ali, baseball player Dexter Fowler, social media star Trent Shelton, and NBA players Isaiah Thomas, Tobias Harris, Aaron Gordon, Blake Griffin, and Dwight Howard gain the confidence to pursue their dreams in this comical series!
The In Real Life campaign was launched in response to President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative and the call-to-action to deliver on the promise of opportunity for all of our young people. Mentoring is a centerpiece of the initiative because of the proven impact on positive outcomes.
Wanting to make an impact on the lives of boys and young men in communities of the highest need, the NBA joined MENTOR to develop In Real Life. It’s the first initiative the league has launched with the support of the entire NBA family – the league, the players’ association, and the retired players’ association – a reflection of the universal connection to mentoring felt around the league.
Our goal is to build a grassroots movement of natural mentors like teachers, coaches, and family friends, formal mentors who work with a mentoring program, public and private sector supporters, donors, and advocates who believe that an asset so critical – mentoring – cannot be left to chance. A movement to connect every young person to the kind of meaningful relationships that provide us all with networks of support and opportunity.