Deb Gordon spotlighted National Mentoring Month with Stephen Powell, Chief Program Officer of the National CARES Mentoring Movement, which was started in 2005 by Susan L. Taylor, former Editor in Chief of Essence Magazine.
The National CARES Mentoring Movement seeks to provide young people with mentors from all sectors of the community, but Mr. Powell stressed the need for people of color to become mentors to help redirect the course of a young person’s life, and help shape their development.
Mr. Powell spotlighted the organization’s group mentoring initiative called The Risings, which also offers educational, healing and wellness services to under-resourced youth.
“What we recognize is that it’s important to focus on the social, emotional development of the children that we’re serving, I can share with you that in many of the communities… that are plagued by violence, a lot of our young people can’t simply focus on their education when they walk into the classroom… they are stressed out at 8:30 in the morning trying to figure out which way to walk to school, and at 2:30 in the afternoon trying to figure out which way to walk home,” said Powell.
“We can’t just look at their development from a linear process and say we want them to do well on standardized tests, if there are factors that are impacting their success in obtaining that.”
National CARES Mentoring Movement is spotlighting a variety of dates to commemorate Mentoring Month including ‘I Am a Mentor Day’ on January 12th, ‘Thank Your Mentor Day’ on January 19th, and the MLK Weekend of Service.
“During the Martin Luther King Weekend of Service we are encouraging our communities of faith around the country to either hold a mentor Sunday service, a mentor Saturday service, or any type of justice Sunday service where we can talk about social justice and community engagement,” said Powell.
The organization is also holding its 2nd annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala on January 30th in New York at Cipriani 42nd street to raise awareness and critical funds for the issue.
Mr. Powell, a longtime mentor-advocate having spent a number of years at Mentoring USA, discussed the rewards of becoming a mentor, as well as the positive impact mentoring has on a child, and encouraged listeners to volunteer to become a mentor.
For more information about mentoring, and all the National Mentoring Month events in our area, visit www.caresmentoring.org .
You can also connect with Mr. Powell on Twitter : @MrMentorSteve