MENTOR and the NBA Announce Partnership to Expand Quality Youth Mentoring

Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership
July 21st, 2014
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WASHINGTON — Today, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership joined President Obama and the NBA, the National Basketball Players Association and the Legends of Basketball to announce a new cross-sector partnership aimed at supporting the goal of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to connect boys and young men of color to resources to achieve success. The My Brother’s Keeper Task Force identifies mentoring as a critical component of the initiative and this new partnership will serve as a catalyst for recruiting more Americans to volunteer their time as mentors.

NbaCares“We know that one out of every three kids in our country will grow up without a mentor. The My Brother’s Keeper initiative has been a driver for increased private-sector commitments to close this gap and provide young people in our communities with critical connections to social and economic opportunities,” said David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership. “The NBA teams, current and retired players have expansive reach and their engagement will make an invaluable contribution to the efforts by mentoring programs big and small to connect more youth in quality mentoring relationships.”

MENTOR applauds the NBA, its teams and current and former players or making a five-year commitment to support My Brother’s Keeper. To support their efforts, MENTOR will partner with the NBA, in collaboration with other leading mentoring organizations, to launch a public service campaign designed to recruit 25,000 new mentors over five years, with a specific emphasis on recruiting men of color. To start this effort, MENTOR’s volunteer search engine for mentoring opportunities across the country is now serving visitors to the NBA Cares website.

“The NBA and our teams are committed to supporting efforts that have a positive impact on children and families,” said Kathy Behrens, Executive Vice President of Social Responsibility and Players’ Programs at the NBA. “Our current and former players take seriously their responsibility to serve as positive role models and to inspire NBA fans to answer the call to action to become a mentor and help young people succeed.”

As part of its goal to expand quality youth mentoring, MENTOR served as an advisor to inform the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force report resulting in the recommendation to launch a public-private campaign to actively recruit high-quality, sustained mentors for all youth and increase support for the capacity of mentoring programs to deliver impactful outcomes. MENTOR’s volunteer search engine is powering this effort on the White House website and thousands of individuals have already used this tool to find mentoring opportunities.


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 network of affiliate Mentoring Partnerships 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, cutting-edge research and state-of-the-art tools.

About NBA Cares

NBA Cares is the league’s global social responsibility program that builds on the NBA’s mission of addressing important social issues in the United States and around the world.  Through this program, the NBA, its teams and players have donated more than $237 million to charity, completed more than 3 million hours of hands-on community service, and created more than 895 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play, in 25 countries and territories on five continents.  NBA Cares works with internationally recognized youth-serving programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes, including: KaBOOM!, Special Olympics, YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, UNICEF, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Share Our Strength and GLAAD.


Diane Quest | MENTOR | 617.303.4609 |

Chris Legentil | NBA | 646.660.5934 |