PRESS RELEASE - Special Event at Library of Congress Kicks Off National Mentoring Summit
Members of Congress Attend to Show Support for Youth Mentoring
January 24, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The majestic Library of Congress (LOC), the world’s largest library based on shelf space and number of books, served as the setting Monday night for the opening event of the second annual National Mentoring Summit.
The event, uniting national youth mentoring organizations, administration officials, civic leaders, corporate executives and the country’s foremost mentoring researchers, opened with remarks from Wim Kooyker, the chairman of the board of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership. “I have been in investment banking my whole life and often, people ask you for investment predictions. I am reticent to make them. But I can make one prediction with absolute certainty--- the single best investment you will ever make is the investment in another human being. Mentoring is that investment.”
“An investment now, at this moment, in consistent, supportive relationships for this generation of young people means changing the future of our nation,” Kooyker added.
Along with his remarks, Kooyker noted a recent study out of Minnesota, which found that for every $1 invested into mentoring, society receives a 250 percent return.
Backing Kooyker on the benefits of investing in mentoring programs, Head Librarian of the LOC, Dr. James Billington, told attendees of the work teens and high school students, and even small children, have already done and continue to do for the Library in conjunction with their local mentors.
In support of youth mentoring, Representative Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) also took the LOC stage, pointing out that mentoring programs are “the fabric of our communities,” helping to make communities healthier, safer and more livable.
“The millions of individuals across the country who serve as mentors invest their time and energy to provide children with a supportive relationship,” said Rep. McCollum. “With quality mentors on their side, young people are more likely to stay in school and to believe in themselves. This summit gives us the opportunity to emphasize the importance of mentoring in the lives of young people and to the future of our nation.”
Recounting the event this morning, Rep. Susan Davis (D-Cali.) noted, "Last night, I was honored to speak at the National Mentoring Summit in Washington, DC. It's a great occasion to celebrate mentors and the hard work they do in enriching the lives of children and youth across the country. As a former director of a mentoring program in San Diego, I have had the opportunity to witness first-hand the positive impact of mentoring and am proud to celebrate National Mentoring Month this January to recognize the importance of mentoring and strengthening federal investments in bettering the lives of young people in America."
In addition to remarks made by the members of Congress, David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR, announced that MENTOR, along with its board member Dr. Jean Rhodes, a pioneer in mentoring research, are working with the LOC on their Veteran’s History Project, the next iteration. The Veteran's History Project (VHP) was created in 2000 by Congress with the goal of collecting oral histories, letters, photographs and other original materials from U.S. veterans. Volunteer interviewers have spoken with more than 75,000 veterans of World War I through current conflicts. All of the videotaped interviews and materials archived are available to the public at the LOC and through a searchable, online database. Documentary Filmmaker Ken Burns is the chairman of the VHP, and recently, Senator John Kerry expressed his great support of MENTOR’s work to incorporate mentoring into the project.
Rhodes has piloted an initiative where mentors and mentees work together to carry out these interviews with veterans, offering an opportunity for skill building, historical learning and a powerful mutual experience. MENTOR will expand this pilot to more matches across the country, which will offer this generation a first-hand sense of the sacrifices and bravery of those who served our country and enrich the historical treasures left behind for future generations.
Another major announcement made by MENTOR CEO David Shapiro is the creation of an Illinois Mentoring Partnership. MENTOR, along with Founding Partners JP Morgan Chase, Accenture and X-FA, as well as business, civic and nonprofit leaders across Illinois, have provided the foundation for a sustainable and successful Illinois Mentoring Partnership. Already operational in 25 states nationwide, State Mentoring Partnerships help unify and build successful mentoring programs through proven standards, cutting-edge research and state-of-the-art tools, while also addressing challenges such as inconsistent quality among providers, inadequate funding for programs and a deficit of volunteers needed to serve to all youth. MENTOR is working with all the stakeholders above to bring this record of success to Illinois.
The National Mentoring Summit is being held Tuesday, January 24, and Wednesday, January 25, at The Fairmont in Washington, D.C. The Summit’s presenting sponsor is Viacom. Bank of America and BNY Mellon are supporting sponsors for the events.
For more information or to attend, please contact Ellen Christman at (703)224-2255 or email@example.com.