spanish_mentor_irl_logo_k nmm_seal_2016In real life, who do you turn to?

9 million kids in America are growing up without an answer to this question. They make everyday choices that lead up to life’s big decisions without enough guidance and support – the kind most of us count on. Every kid should have someone to turn to. Join the movement, Mentor IN REAL LIFE.


Presidential Proclamation — National Mentoring Month, 2017


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With every generation, our Nation has expanded the essential idea that no matter who you are or where you come from, America is a place where — with hard work and perseverance — you can make it if you try. Although obstacles and challenges along the way can be discouraging, the mentorship and support of others have always motivated our people to persevere — even in the toughest of times. At the start of each new year, we observe National Mentoring Month to honor the parents, families, teachers, coaches, and mentors who pour their time and their love into lifting up America’s daughters and sons.

Nobody succeeds on their own: each young person’s strength and resilience is fostered by those who have taught them they can do anything they put their mind to. Whether helping mentees study for a test, learn a new skill, or lift their heads up after a setback, mentors provide them the chance they need to move forward and set their sights even higher. And in helping mentees achieve their goals, mentors can inspire them to reach back and provide the same support to someone else in need of a mentor. To learn how you can mentor others and make a lasting difference, visit

In too many communities, many children still have the odds stacked against them, which is why my Administration has striven to increase mentorship opportunities across our country. Among other steps we have taken, we established the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which has inspired private organizations and communities in every State to address opportunity gaps and encourage mentorship as a tool for helping all young people reach their full potential. At the White House, we started our own mentee program and regularly met with local youth to provide leadership and guidance. And our efforts to bring higher education within reach for more Americans and expand apprenticeship initiatives have helped ensure more students can access the educational and career opportunities they need to thrive.

This month, we reflect on the transformative role mentorship can play and acknowledge the many ways that mentors have helped our next generation of leaders and innovators grow. As a Nation, we are stronger when every individual has the opportunity to contribute to our American story. By working to give each person a better chance at success, we can unlock their potential and empower them to serve others in the same way.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 2017 as National Mentoring Month. I call upon public officials, business and community leaders, educators, and Americans across the country to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.



• This means 1 in 3 young people feel isolated from meaningful connections with adults outside their homes

• Mentoring has an impact In Real Life.

• Mentoring is linked to improved academic, social and economic prospects.

• Mentoring provides meaningful connections that impact the people involved – and influences outcomes at home, at work and in their communities.

• Having a mentor empowers young people to make smart choices that put them on a path to making better life decisions.

• A mentor who encourages smart daily behaviors—finishing homework, having healthy social interactions, saying no when it counts—has a noticeable influence on a young person’s growth and success.

• Mentors are part of a network of support that a young person can consistently turn to for the kind of big and small life lessons that you don’t learn in a classroom.

• Students who have mentors are more likely to stay in school.

• Students with mentors have better school attendance—because they learn the importance of showing up in real life.

• By sharing their own life experiences, mentors provide students with a clear vision of what their future could look like. The impact is that, statistically, students with mentors are more likely to continue school through higher education.

• Students with a mentor have the tools to avoid real life pitfalls like skipping school, drinking and illegal drugs.

• Mentoring builds relationships that are as meaningful for the mentor as they are for the young person.

• Hashtag activism can raise awareness for important issues, but mentoring delivers real-life impact:

• Young adults who had mentors as kids are 55% more likely to be enrolled in college— and more than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.

• Young adults who had mentors as kids are paying it forward—they are 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities.

• Mentors make an indelible impression on their mentees: in a survey of young people who had mentors, 90% said they are now interested in becoming mentors themselves.

• For the mentors, the relationship can build leadership and management skills, expand a mentor’s professional network, and provide an empowering opportunity to give back to the community.

• 9 million kids need a trusted mentor to turn to. You can help close the mentoring gap—here’s how.

Share your own story about a mentor in your life on your social channels, using #MentorIRL.

• Real solutions need real resources. Make a donation to an organization supporting mentoring and help connect more kids to mentors in real life.

• Spread the word about the mentoring crisis and invite friends to be part of the solution with you.

• In real life, major change needs the support of powerful people. Vote for candidates who care about mentoring, and support public policies that advance the cause.

• Join our movement to connect every young person with a mentor.

Become a mentor IN REAL LIFE.

Young People’s Perspectives on the Outcomes and Availability of Mentoring, the report found that there is a powerful mentoring effect demonstrated by the experiences of young people in this nationally representative survey.
It is linked to improved academic, social and economic prospects, and strengthens our communities and our nation.
Young people who were at-risk for not completing high school but who had a mentor reported higher educational aspirations and matriculation into post-secondary education, as well as greater engagement in positive activities.

• 55% more likely to be enrolled in college than
those who did not have a mentor.
• 81% more likely to report participating
regularly in sports or extracurricular
• More than twice as likely to say they held a
leadership position in a club or sports team.
• 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their
• Nearly nine in ten respondents who had
a mentor said they are now interested in
becoming mentors.


Important Dates to Remember

January 12, 2017 – I Am A Mentor Day • A day for volunteer mentors to celebrate their role and reflect on the ways mentees have enhanced their world.

January 16, 2017 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service • A day to share in the inspirational words of MLK, Jr. and elevate the spirit of service through volunteerism.

January 17, 2017 – International Mentoring Day • A day of international conversations on social media where photos, video and powerful mentoring stories messages are shared.

January 19, 2017 – #ThankYourMentor Day • A day for all who have real life mentoring experiences to thank those who helped them on their path to adulthood and beyond.


Volunteering as a mentor or becoming an informal mentor to a young person you know is a valuable step in igniting the mentoring effect in your community.  In addition, there are many other ways in which we can all become mentor mobilizers. From donating to a mentoring program to asking your elected officials to support public funding for those programs, to working with your school district to incorporate mentoring, or getting your company to participate in a mentoring program.