January is National Mentoring Month (NMM), a month dedicated to celebrating and amplifying the work mentors can do for young people in society. NMM began in 2002 by MENTOR National and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Its goals are to:
- Raise awareness of mentoring in its various forms
- Recruit individuals to mentor, especially in programs that have waiting lists of young people
- Promote the rapid growth of mentoring by recruiting organizations to engage their constituents in mentoring
Since its beginning, National Mentoring Month has had support from presidents, like President Obama, public figures, like Usher and Oprah Winfrey, and organizations, like the NBA. Supporters of NMM believe that mentorship shows young people there is someone who “cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges and makes them feel like they matter.” Through this important relationship, a young person can develop personally, academically and professionally in ways they might not otherwise.
NMM provides a page on their website outlining all the ways mentoring can have a huge impact on young people. From not skipping school to becoming leaders in their schools and communities, young people who have mentors do better.
Important dates for National Mentoring Month 2021
Each year, the National Mentoring Month official website shares specific dates during the month to spread the word or to focus on one facet of mentoring. This year, there are some dates to remember mentoring in a special way and participate in events or on social media using the hashtag #MentoringAmplifies. As believers in the power of mentorship, we invite you to amplify the importance of mentoring by taking note of these dates. These include:
- January 7th: I Am A Mentor Day, a day to reflect on your role as a mentor
- January 17th: International Mentoring Day, a day to share mentoring stories or experiences using the hashtags #MentoringDay or #MentoringMonth
- Jan. 18th: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, a day to participate in service activities, especially those related to your role as a mentor
- January 27-29: National Mentoring Summit, a virtual summit where you can learn from leaders in the mentoring world
- January 29: #ThankYourMentor Day, a day to share stories about a mentor you had, thanking them for the ways they helped you