Nearly 1,000 People Gather for Sixth Annual National Mentoring Summit

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
January 25th, 2016
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Convening to Explore theme of “Connection | Growth | Opportunity” for Youth and Communities

Washington – On January 27, nearly 1,000 youth mentoring practitioners, researchers, advocates, corporate partners, government and civic leaders and national and local youth-serving organizations will gather for the sixth annual National Mentoring Summit.  This signature event for the youth mentoring field is convened by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) and supported by a diverse group of public, private and nonprofit stakeholders, including the Summit’s Premiere and Lead Sponsors, AT&T and Bank of America, and presenting partners Corporation for National and Community Service, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and America’s Promise Alliance.  This year, two Media Partners, LinkedIn and American Graduate/Corporation for Public Broadcasting, are also supporting the event based on their commitment to expanding mentoring for young people.

Four plenary sessions and more than 60 individual workshops will explore this year’s theme of “Connection | Growth | Opportunity,” covering a versatile array of topics including informal mentoring, youth voice, incorporating research and data into programs and mentoring as a facet of improved police-community relations and reducing inequality.

This year’s opening session will feature a special performance by Grammy Award-winning artist Patti Austin singing her ode to mentoring “Over My Shoulder” and special remarks by Premiere Sponsor, AT&T, celebrating their recent achievement of one million employee hours of mentoring since launching their Aspire initiative four years ago.  Meg Garlinghouse, the Head of LinkedIn for Good, will share insights from this summer’s #ThankYourMentor initiative and plans for future engagement, and retired NBA player and coach, and longtime mentor John Lucas, will share his personal and professional reflections on the powerful impact of informal mentoring relationships. Additional featured speakers at the event will include retired NBA Hall-of-Fame legend Bob Lanier and WNBA star Tamika Catchings.

For the second year, the Summit will provide a grassroots opportunity for attendees to advocate for mentoring during Capitol Hill Day.  Attendees will meet with members of Congress to relay the far-reaching impact quality youth mentoring has on their communities and advocate for policies that advance mentoring as a systemic solution. With several hundred participants expected, the event will bring significant attention to the mentoring movement.

“We are appreciative of all who help make the Summit possible and their dedication to improving our collective ability to ensure all young people are connected to opportunities for growth so our communities can thrive. The participation in the Summit is so diverse and is truly emblematic of the building movement required to make mentoring a promise we can deliver on for all of America’s young people,” MENTOR CEO David Shapiro said.

Former Philadelphia mayor and founder of Amachi, a leading national faith-based mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents, Rev. Dr. W. Wilson Goode Sr. will be recognized and offer remarks at the 2016 Annual Excellence in Mentoring Awards dinner at the Library of Congress.

The 2016 Annual Excellence in Mentoring Awards will recognize mentoring champions who have demonstrated a long-standing commitment to quality youth mentoring through individual volunteerism, fundraising and advocacy on behalf of supportive public policies and leadership on a variety of efforts to expand quality mentoring opportunities for young people. The 2016 awards will honor:

  • Dr. Sharon Rose Powell, Center for Supportive Schools
  • Belkis Plata, Take Stock in Children
  • Curley M. Dossman, Jr., 100 Black Men of America

Additional highlights include:

Our Kids: The Role of Mentoring in Bridging the Opportunity Gap
In his critically acclaimed book Our Kids, best-selling author and one of the most influential academics of our time, Robert Putnam, confronts the myth that a level playing field is all that it takes to achieve the American Dream. Putnam details the powerful impact of mentoring relationships and using data from The Mentoring Effect, notes that nearly two-thirds of affluent children experience mentoring outside of their extended family, while two-thirds of children from lower income families do not. He concludes that, “any serious program to address the growing opportunity gap must address the mentoring gap.”  This panel will explore the role of mentoring in connecting young people to important supports, breaking isolation, offering growth experiences, and ultimately, opportunity.


  • Malik Avery, U.S. Army Reserves
  • Charlie Bean, Drop-out Recruiter, St. Louis School District
  • Duncan Campbell, Founder, Friends of the Children
  • David DuBois, Professor, Community Health Sciences, University of Illinois-Chicago
  • Monique Rizer, Executive Director, Opportunity Nation

The Role of Youth Engagement in Healing Communities
In recent months, discussions regarding the relationship between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve have been at an all-time high. Spurred by the tragic deaths of young people of color, this dialog has repeatedly turned toward the need to bring attention, resources and support to youth in our communities as a means of addressing the issues at the heart of these tensions. This panel will explore the role of strategic youth engagement and support in helping to heal communities in strife.


  • Yasmine Arrington, Founder ScholarCHIPS
  • Devone Boggan, Office of Neighborhood Safety, Richmond, CA
  • Becky James-Hatter, Chief Executive Officer, BBBS of Eastern Missouri
  • Brandon Scott, Baltimore City Council

Don’t Quit on Me: Young People’s Reflections the Power of Relationships
The impact of a caring adult in the life of a young person becomes all the more evident in the absence of one; particularly as it relates to helping a student stay on track to graduation. The latest report from America’s Promise Alliance, “Don’t Quit on Me,” explores – from the perspectives of young people themselves – the roles relationships with adults and peers play in their decision about staying in, leaving and returning to high school.  Nearly 485,000 students will leave school this year without graduation and more than 1 million more will leave over the next few years.  Quality mentoring relationships can change the course for these students, ultimately connecting them to future opportunity.  This panel will bring to life the rallying cry “don’t quit on me” by featuring an authentic conversation with young people who informed the report.

Remarks:  John Gomperts, President and CEO, American’s Promise Alliance

The 2016 National Mentoring Summit is made possible by the generous support of:

  • Premiere Sponsor: AT&T
  • Lead Sponsor: Bank of America
  • Platinum Sponsor: NBA Cares, National Basketball Players Association (NBPA)
  • Gold Sponsor: EY, First Niagara
  • Silver Sponsor: 3M, Deloitte LLP, Mustang Leadership Partners, SureID

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 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.  Connect with MENTOR on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Contact: Liz Hardy| Director, Marketing and Communications| 617.303.4617|