MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership Celebrates 25 Years of the Mentoring Movement

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
November 12th, 2015
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NEW YORK – This week, 400 leaders and long-time supporters of the youth mentoring movement gathered at The Plaza Hotel to celebrate MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership’s (MENTOR) 25 year commitment to fueling the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships for America’s young people in an effort to close the mentoring gap.

MENTOR was founded in 1990 by Wall Street leaders Raymond G. Chambers and Geoffrey T. Boisi in response to a growing need for positive, committed adult relationships among young people at risk of falling off track.  Born of the proven success of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, they saw a need to create a widespread mentoring movement where scores of organizations could deliver quality mentoring opportunities for young people.

Hosted by award-winning journalist and philanthropist Soledad O’Brien, the event commemorated 25 years of milestones and achievements in the youth mentoring field.

In addition to the organization’s co-founders, long-time supporters of the youth mentoring movement were honored at the event, including MENTOR’s 25 Legends of Mentoring, a group of individuals selected for their dedication to helping ensure we meet the mentoring needs of all of our nation’s young people, and members of MENTOR’s 25th Anniversary Founder’s Circle, a group recognized for helping pioneer the creation of the youth mentoring movement in communities across the nation.

Additional leaders in the youth mentoring movement, including well-known figures from the worlds of politics, arts, entertainment and business were also recognized at the event.

When MENTOR was founded, approximately 300,000 young people who were at risk of falling off track were in structured mentoring relationships.  Today, 4.5 million young people will find the support they need in a structured mentoring relationship while growing up.

Following a special performance by visually impaired jazz pianist, Justin Kauflin, whose powerful mentoring relationship with the late jazz great Clark Terry was featured in the critically acclaimed documentary by Quincy Jones, Keep on Keepin’ On, Chambers and Boisi spoke of their commitment to quality youth mentoring and America’s young people.

“Mentoring is all about giving real personal gifts.  Gifts of time… the mind… of the heart and soul.  These four gifts unleash the motivation of a young person to become the best that he can be,” Boisi said.

In discussing the importance of youth mentoring, Chambers and MENTOR CEO David Shapiro cited the progress made and then encouraged the audience to work toward closing the opportunity gap that still exists for one in three young people without a mentor.

“It is in our grasp to routinely ensure we identify youth without support and intervene to bolster them with real life connections.  We cannot accept the term achievement gap as if achievement is preordained.  Instead we must recognize, advocate and close the support and opportunity gap,” Shapiro said.

Through the generous support of those committed to helping America’s young people, MENTOR raised over $2 million to continue fueling the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships nationwide.

Photos from the event can be viewed on MENTOR’s Flickr page.


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.


MENTOR: Liz Hardy | 617-303-4617 |