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House Passes Resolution on National Mentoring Month

On January 23, the House passed, by voice vote, a resolution (H. Res. 908) recognizing “the goals and ideals of National Mentoring Month,” January 2008.

Sponsored by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), the resolution’s findings include:

  • a growing body of mentoring research provides strong evidence that mentoring programs are successful in reducing delinquency, substance use and abuse, and academic failure;
  • research also shows that formal mentoring that is focused on developing the competence and character of the young person promotes positive outcomes, such as improved academic achievement, self-esteem, social skills, and career development; and
  • the president has called on the people of the United States to recognize the importance of mentoring, look for opportunities to serve as mentors in their communities, and observe the month with appropriate activities and programs. The resolution “recognizes with gratitude the contributions of the millions of caring adults and students who are already volunteering as mentors,” and “encourages more adults and students to volunteer as mentors.”

    Rep. McCollum said, “In a review of 10 mentoring programs, there are indicators that one-on-one mentoring significantly enhances positive youth development in ways that we can measure: better school performance, better social skills, but most importantly, the ability for them to want to continue on with higher education and college. And that is according to a recent national youth conference that was held at the University of Minnesota.”

    Rep. Ric Keller (R-FL) said, “Young people with mentors are less likely to drop out of school, use illegal drugs, or engage in criminal behavior. The positive effects of mentoring include higher self-esteem, higher graduation rates, and higher academic achievement. I have personally seen the positive impacts of mentoring firsthand. As a young boy, I benefited from having a mentor from the Big [Brothers] Big Sisters program… I encourage people across the country to take time to discover what mentoring programs exist in their communities and see what they can do to help. Many volunteers are needed to meet the growing demand for mentors.”

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