On December 31, 2012, President Barack Obama proclaimed January as National Mentoring Month.
National Mentoring Month celebrates mentoring and the positive effects mentoring have on young lives.
The goals of National Mentoring month are to raise awareness of mentoring, recruit mentors, and promote organizational support of mentoring.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network. Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children (“Littles”) with screened volunteer mentors (“Bigs”) and monitors and supports these one-to-one mentoring matches in building safe, enduring relationships.
The first-ever Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Summary, released in 2012, substantiates that its mentoring programs have proven, positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth, areas linked to high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency and college or job readiness.
As part of celebrating National Mentoring Month, January 17 is designated as Thank Your Mentor Day. On this day, individuals are encouraged to thank and honor their mentors. This can be done by posting an on- line tribute or sending a thank you card. Visit www.national mentoringmonth.org for ideas on how to honor your mentors.
Big Brothers Big Sisters recently launched a “Reunite Now!” campaign encouraging former Bigs and Littles to post stories about their times together. This is an opportunity to reconnect and become involved with the organization again. Information about Reunite Now! is available at www.bbbs.org.
To be a mentor, you don't need special skills, just an ability to listen and to offer friendship, guidance and encouragement to a young person. And you'll be amazed by how much you'll get out of the experience.
New Jersey has nine BBBS Agencies serving every county in the State. Together they form the New Jersey State Association of Big Brothers Big Sisters Agencies. The State Association supports each the individual agencies to expand services with a goal of providing a mentor for every New Jersey child who needs and wants one. With the support of its corporate community and generous philanthropists, this vision can become a reality. Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies in New Jersey serviced over 5,000 youth a year through mentorship.