On January 3rd, President Barrack Obama issued a proclamation designating January as National Mentoring Month. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Coastal Empire (BBBSCE) encourages citizens of the Coastal Empire to help celebrate the occasion by becoming a volunteer or becoming a donor to help support the program.
President Obama stated,
“Every day, mentors help young Americans face the challenges of growing into adulthood. They set a positive example and share their time, knowledge and experience and play an essential role in preparing our nation’s youth for a bright future.”
“Mentors play a powerful role in helping children who are facing adversity to succeed and become productive citizens,” states John Kendricks, Executive Director of BBBSCE.
Despite the proven impact of the mentoring program, the gap between the number of mentors and the number of young people who need and want a mentor is enormous, especially among African-American men and boys. Kendricks reports that his organization has 107 African-American boys who are ready to be matched with a Big Brother but few African-American male volunteers like Raja Sharp are available. Sharp has been matched with his Little Brother Victor for two years.
January 2012 marks the 11th anniversary of National Mentoring Month, a project that is spearheaded by the Harvard Mentoring Project of the Harvard School of Public Health, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, MENTOR, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention. This year’s campaign tagline is “Invest in the Future, Mentor a Child.”