January is National Mentoring Month, a campaign held every year to promote youth mentoring throughout America and to express appreciation for the invaluable mentors who provide guidance to youth across the United States. Verified Volunteers proudly partners with numerous organizations providing impactful guidance to the children in their community. Initiated in 2009 by several groups including the Harvard School of Public Health as a way to promote youth mentoring, National Mentoring Month has been endorsed by both sitting U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama as well as former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
As anyone who has mentored knows firsthand, mentoring is an incredible opportunity to get involved in your community and make a powerful difference in a young person’s life. A recent study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and involving more than 1,300 youths across 7 mentoring-based organizations included key findings on the benefits of mentoring. These include a lessening of depressive symptoms frequently identified in at-risk youth, as well as gains in social acceptance, academic attitudes and grades for mentoring program participants.
In honor of National Mentoring Month, Verified Volunteers reached out to one of our partners to share with us what drives his passion for mentoring. Marcel Anderson, CEO of Accelerating Men, describes what inspired him to mentor below:
"As a special education teacher, I saw a dire need for mentorship. 85% of my students were males and their mothers were single parents. The absence of their fathers was very prevalent. From constant conversation with their parents, I realized the importance of male role model leadership and relationship for my male students. As a spiritual mentor, I desire to see young men live out a faithful lifestyle that reflects the will of God. Accelerating Men is a community faith-based organization that educates, trains, and cultivates young men ages 10-18 to accelerate into their God-given identity.”
Verified Volunteers is proud to work with people like Marcel, who dedicate much of their lives to improving the trajectory of others’. Well done, Marcel.
You can learn more about Accelerating Men and its mentoring program by visiting www.acceleratingmen.org.
And check out the volunteer work our own Verified Volunteers team does. View the photo gallery.