Tutors are mentors, too, because we do more than just help with academics. With a mentor, at-risk students are:
- 52 percent less likely to skip school.
- 55 percent more likely to enroll in college.
- 46 percent less likely to start using drugs.
- 81 percent more likely to participate in sports or other extracurricular activities.
- 78 percent more likely to volunteer in their own communities.
January was designated at National Mentoring Month in 2002. It was started by the Harvard School of Public Health; MENTOR, the National Mentoring Partnership; and the Corporation for National and Community Service. In the 15 years since, it has boosted mentor recruitment at tutoring and mentoring programs across the country.
One of the things President Obama will be doing when he leaves office is to continue and increase his involvement in My Brother’s Keeper, a mentoring initiative launched in the White House in 2014 to help address opportunity gaps for boys and young men of color. The public-private partnership now has a new name, but it has My Brother’s Keeper organizations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The private sector and various philanthropies have committed $1 billion to the mentoring effort.
In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has assembled a My Brother’s Keeper Cabinet of representatives from the faith-based, business, civic, and educational communities to build on the tutoring and mentoring opportunities that already are available in Chicago, such as Cluster Tutoring.
Cluster continues to have a waiting list of students who need tutors. National Mentoring Month is a perfect time to join the tutoring team. An orientation session for new tutors will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, at First United Church of Oak Park, 848 Lake St.
Last spring, Obama demonstrated some mentoring “tips” to a certain basketball player from the Golden State Warriors: