NBA Cares Ambassador Jason Collins to Headline Fifth Annual National Mentoring Summit

Convening to Explore Positive Effect of Mentoring on Individuals, Communities and the Private Sector

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On January 28, nearly 1,000 youth mentoring practitioners, researchers, advocates, corporate partners, government and civic leaders, national youth-serving organizations and the network of affiliate Mentoring Partnerships will gather for the fifth annual National Mentoring Summit. This signature event for the youth mentoring field is convened by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) and Presenting Partners Corporation for National and Community Service, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and America's Promise Alliance.

The 2015 National Mentoring Summit theme is Expanding the Mentoring Effect and will explore how mentoring, when integrated into a variety of settings, can support young people in reaching positive and powerful life outcomes. Four general session plenaries and more than 60 individual workshops will demonstrate the many ways in which mentoring relationships connect youth to social and economic opportunity, and that through their success, the mentoring effect has the potential to strengthen families, schools, businesses and communities.

The Summit is being extended to a three-day event in 2015 to incorporate an advocacy activity on Capitol Hill. "Capitol Hill Day" attendees will meet with members of Congress and their staff to relay the far-reaching impact quality youth mentoring has on their communities and advocate for policies that advance mentoring. With nearly 400 participants registered, the event is expected to bring significant attention to the mentoring movement.

Retired NBA player and current NBA Cares Ambassador Jason Collins will serve as the Summit's opening keynote speaker. An All-American player at Stanford University, Collins played 13 seasons in the NBA before retiring in November 2014. In retirement, he serves as a powerful voice for diversity and inclusion.

"As I've been lucky enough to have a variety of positive mentors from Doc Rivers to Jason Kidd to dear family members, I'm thrilled to represent the NBA family to discuss our work as part of My Brother's Keeper," said Jason Collins, NBA Cares Ambassador. "The National Mentoring Summit serves as a tremendous opportunity to foster dialog about the importance of guidance, in the hopes of inspiring others to volunteer."

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and the NBA family are partnering to leverage quality youth mentoring in response to President Barack Obama's My Brother's Keeper initiative to leverage opportunity for young men and boys of color.

"We are so excited that this year's National Mentoring Summit will include representatives from every state and across all sectors to celebrate success within the movement and collaborate to grow and heighten the impact of mentoring opportunities for our nation's young people," said David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR. "MENTOR is privileged to convene such a diverse spectrum of leaders at the Summit and we are looking forward to an inspiring and electric event focused on empowering more of our youth through mentoring."

Senator Al Franken of Minnesota will give remarks at The Awards for Excellence Dinner at the Library of Congress. Senator Franken has long been an advocate for youth and mentoring during his political career.

The 2015 Annual Excellence in Mentoring Awards will recognize mentoring champions who have demonstrated a long-standing commitment to quality youth mentoring through individual volunteerism, fundraising and advocacy on behalf of supportive public policies and leadership on a variety of efforts to expand quality mentoring opportunities for young people. The 2015 awards will honor:

• Former Detroit Mayor, Dave Bing, BINGO, Boys Inspired Through Nurturing, Growth and Opportunities
• Charles R. Burke, Jr., The Grable Foundation
• The Honorable Mary L. Landrieu, Former U.S. Senator, Louisiana
• Coach Bill Snyder, Kansas State University
• Michael B. Yanney, Burlington Capital Group LLC

Additional highlights include:

A special ceremony led by Corporation for National and Community Service Director of Americorps Bill Basl will recognize companies participating in the Corporate Mentoring Challenge, launched by First Lady Michelle Obama in 2011 as a challenge to the private sector to create or expand a mentoring initiative within their companies and to encourage employee participation in youth mentoring programs. Special recognition will go to:

• AT&T
• Comcast NBCUniversal
• First Niagara Bank
• Webster Bank

Expanding the Mentoring Effect: Strengthening Communities
This dynamic panel brings multiple perspectives to demonstrate the power of the mentoring effect: how creating supportive relationships for young people acts as a key lever in strengthening communities. City leaders will discuss how they are taking a comprehensive community approach that incorporates a focus on positive youth development and relationships to benefit the broader community.

• Police Chief William Blair Anderson, St. Cloud, MN
• Dr. Linda Lane, Superintendent, Pittsburgh Public Schools,
• The Honorable Neil O'Leary, Mayor, Waterbury, CT

Rallying Call of My Brother's Keeper
This session will begin with opening remarks from the editor-in-chief of Esquire magazine, David Granger. Esquire Magazine recently launched a multimedia campaign to encourage more men to mentor. The panel will then explore responses to and opportunities for leveraging President Obama's My Brother's Keeper call for action, which included a recommendation to recruit high-quality mentors and improve the quality of mentoring programs.

• Marco Davis, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
• Shawn Dove, Campaign for Black Male Achievement
• Dr. Shireen Lewis, EduSeed and SisterMentors
• Dr. Michael Kimmel, Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities, Stony Brook University
• Michael Smith, White House Office of Cabinet Affairs for My Brother's Keeper
• Robert Thornton, Skillman Foundation

Today's Movement Leaders: At the Crossroads of Mentoring and Education
In this panel, attendees will hear the inspiring stories of young people who are leading work at the intersection of mentoring and education. This session will include special guest, NBA Cares Ambassador and Hall of Famer, Bob Lanier.

• Karim Abouelnaga, Practice Makes Perfect
• Lashon Amado, YouthBuild USA
• Imani Henry, 100 Men Reading
• Amanda Matos, WomanHOOD

The 2015 National Mentoring Summit is made possible by the generous support of:
Lead sponsors: AT &T, Bank of America, EY

The National Mentoring Summit is the only national event for the mentoring movement. It is the culminating event of National Mentoring Month, a public awareness campaign held each January, designed to initiate a dialogue on the positive impact of quality mentoring and recruit more volunteers as mentors. National Mentoring Month activities carried out by MENTOR's network of affiliate Mentoring Partnerships and other partners reach thousands at the state and local level, and millions nationwide through events, public service announcements, media coverage and social media conversations.

MENTOR is the unifying champion for quality youth mentoring in the United States. MENTOR's mission is to close the "mentoring gap" and ensure our nation's young people have the support they need through quality mentoring relationships to succeed at home, school, and ultimately, work. To achieve this, MENTOR collaborates with its network of affiliate Mentoring Partnerships and works to drive the investment of time and money into high impact mentoring programs and advance quality mentoring through the development and delivery of standards, cutting-edge research and state-of-the-art tools. Connect with MENTOR on Twitter and Facebook.


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