Andrew Catanzariti, AmeriCorps VISTA, Aspire Mentoring Corps
December 29th, 2015
Posted In: Recognition
This post was originally featured on the National Service Official Blog.
As part of a group of seven AT&T Aspire Mentoring Corps VISTA members serving in MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership’s Boston office and across its affiliate network of Mentoring Partnerships, I have had the privilege of working closely with a team of talented individuals dedicated to improving the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships for America’s young people.
In supporting local and national initiatives designed to build the capacity of youth mentoring programs and increase private sector engagement in youth mentoring, the Aspire Mentoring Corps has been able to assist in creating sustainable tools, resources and infrastructure that will support each organization’s work for years to come.
Announced in July 2014 with President Barack Obama at an event to celebrate key commitments to the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color, and to ensure that all young people can reach their full potential, the Aspire Mentoring Corps is an innovative public-private collaboration between MENTOR and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) with support from AT&T through the AT&T Aspire program.
The My Brother’s Keeper Task Force identified quality mentoring as a critical support for young people and recommended the AmeriCorps program be further leveraged to help meet this need.
Like other AmeriCorps VISTA programs, members of the Aspire Mentoring Corps do not provide direct services in their communities – tutoring children or rebuilding homes. Instead, we focus our efforts elsewhere, helping to advance the mentoring field through the development and delivery of key initiatives, like the National Quality Mentoring System, the Corporate Mentoring Challenge and the National Mentoring Resource Center. We feel the impact of our work each day.
The opportunity to be part of an organization so committed to the personal, academic and professional well-being of America’s young people has been extraordinary. As members of the Aspire Mentoring Corps, we have been challenged to take an active role at work, and encouraged to succeed. As AmeriCorps VISTAs, we have been welcomed as part of the team.
Today, nearly 9 million young people will grow up without a mentor. Through continued support from companies like AT&T, programs like the Aspire Mentoring Corps can help ensure every young person has a caring adult mentor growing up.
We’re proud to be part of the MENTOR team, and excited to be part of the progress.