MENTOR Announces Corporate Excellence in Youth Mentoring Award National Winner

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
January 24th, 2018
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BOSTON, January 22 – In the final weeks of National Mentoring Month, the national organization unifying the youth mentoring movement is recognizing those who give back to their communities year-round. MENTOR today announced that Jeff Fetters, Chairman and CEO of Federated Insurance Companies, will receive the inaugural national Corporate Excellence in Youth Mentoring award given to one outstanding employee mentor. Fetters was selected from a group of 10 finalists, narrowed from a nationwide call for nominations.

Jeff Fetters and his mentee, Mackenzie, are real-life examples of the power of mentoring relationships to support, inspire, and engage young people personally and professionally.. Fetters personifies what research makes clear: Mentoring is mutually beneficial for young people and the adults who build relationships with them.

Fetters not only champions mentoring in his personal life, he also advocates for mentoring within his company and community as leader of one of the nation’s largest mutual insurance companies. Fetters leads the Federated Challenge for Kids of Minnesota. The annual event, in its 14th year, has raised over $30 million to support the youth mentoring and educational programs of the Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies in Minnesota, home to Federated headquarters. 

Fetters’ passion for youth mentoring started when he and his wife, Marty, volunteered to be a Big Couple through their local Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Minnesota. They were matched with their Little, Mackenzie, who was 11 years old at the time. They nurtured Mackenzie’s passion for cooking by helping her enroll in culinary school after high school. Today, Mackenzie is thriving in her career as Sous Chef at a Minnesota country club. Mackenzie and the Fetters continue the relationship they started through their mentoring match more than a decade ago.

“For me, this recognition further validates that the amazing work of our Federated employees and the wonderful support of our Federated Challenge sponsors are forever changing the lives of kids,” Fetters said. “This recognition will also help us continue to increase our support for kids in Minnesota and will help create an example that can be used for mentoring in other states.”

Jeff Fetters’ mentoring story and others like it will take center stage on January 24 at the Excellence in Mentoring Awards Dinner at the Library of Congress. The award ceremony is an invitation-only convening of leaders and supporters of the youth mentoring field and part of the National Mentoring Summit, the signature event for the mentoring field, convening more than 1,000 experts, practitioners, advocates, and philanthropic partners to advance mentoring nationwide. The Summit closes out National Mentoring Month, celebrated each January to focus national attention on the value of mentoring to bring people together and build meaningful, lasting relationships for young people and adults alike.

Finalists for the brand new Corporate Excellence in Youth Mentoring Award represented nine companies, five states, and a diverse array of industries spanning technology to finance to insurance – and they all have one thing in common: a commitment to building meaningful relationships to support young people while building a 21st century workforce.

With support of the Alper Family Foundation, Fetters will be invited to direct a $1,000 grant to a nonprofit mentoring program of his choice.

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About MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership 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 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, cutting-edge research, and state-of-the-art tools. Connect with MENTOR on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and Instagram.