American Student Assistance and MENTOR Launch Partnership to Drive Prioritization of Relationships for Young People

Erin Souza-Rezendes
January 30th, 2020
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Washington, D.C. – Announced today at the National Mentoring Summit, American Student Assistance (ASA) is providing a major multi-year investment in MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) to help meet the relationship needs of young people. A central component of the partnership includes the creation of a campaign and technical assistance focused on prioritizing relationships and creating a culture of mentoring in the nation’s schools. This three-year, $3 million commitment is aimed at addressing the social capital inequities that exist for young people across the country and accelerating MENTOR’s progress in providing servant leadership for the field and youth mentoring movement.

Launched as Relationship Nation, the partnership includes three main components:

  • The launch and implementation a national awareness and influence campaign highlighting the impact of taking a rigorous relationship centered approach on outcomes from education to mental health to workforce development.
  • Increase grassroots efforts to help educate policymakers on the impact of relationship-centered solutions across issues areas.
  • The creation of a Relationship-Centered Schools Initiative, partnering with schools and school districts, bolstering local mentoring infrastructure and intentional approaches to ensure young people have the adult relationships they need to thrive.

“Navigating all possible education and career pathways can be daunting, even with the many resources available. This is where mentors play such a critical role in a students’ journey,” said Jean Eddy, CEO and President of ASA. “We know we must do more to address capital inequities that exist for young people across the country and that is why ASA is committing significant resources and joining forces with MENTOR to meet the relationship needs of our young people. We know we can go further together.”

“We are so proud and appreciative to enter this partnership with ASA. They have taken the time to get to know our work, our movement, and the intersection with their innovative focus on early career exposure for young people. They have invested in our strengths and our aspirations and that approach will result in lasting systems change to drive expanded connection and opportunity for our young people,” said David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR.


MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) is the unifying champion for quality youth mentoring in the United States. MENTOR’s mission is to close the mentoring gap and ensure our nation’s young people have the support they need through quality mentoring relationships to succeed at home, school, and ultimately, work. To achieve this, MENTOR collaborates with its Affiliates and works to drive the investment of time and money into high-impact mentoring programs and advance quality mentoring through the development and delivery of standards, research, and tools.  To learn more about MENTOR, visit


American Student Assistance® (ASA) is a national nonprofit committed to helping kids know themselves, know their options, and make informed choices to achieve their education and career goals. ASA® has a 60-year legacy of working directly with students to increase their access to higher education through loans and financial education. ASA has turned its experience into impactful solutions for kids in middle, high school, and beyond to help them pursue their dreams. To learn more about ASA, visit

Erin Souza-Rezendes