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January is National Mentoring Month

This news story was published on January 9, 2016.
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DES MOINES – Governor Branstad made an official proclamation last week declaring January as Mentoring Month in Iowa. January 2016 marks the 15th annual National Mentoring Month, and the Iowa Mentoring Partnership (IMP) is driving this campaign aimed at expanding quality mentoring opportunities to connect more of our communities’ young people with caring adults.

“There is a powerful mentoring effect demonstrated by research and the experiences of young people who are connected to a mentor in real life” said IMP Director Mary Sheka, “Mentoring is linked to improved academic, social, and economic prospects for young people that ultimately strengthens our communities.”

Research has shown that when matched through a quality mentoring program, mentors can play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible decisions, stay focused and engaged in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like skipping school, drug use and other negative activities.

For example, in a recent national report, The Mentoring Effect, young people who were at-risk for not completing high school but who had a mentor were:

  • 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 activities
  • 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities
    More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team

This same report found that one in three young people in our country will grow up without a mentor. Today, in Iowa, over 8,000 mentors serve youth in programs certified by the Iowa Mentoring Partnership. However, thousands more Iowa youth could benefit from having a mentor.

“Supporting youth mentoring is something Lt. Governor Reynolds and I have been passionate about throughout our careers,” said Governor Terry E. Branstad. “I am pleased to have an opportunity to help raise awareness of the benefits of quality mentoring, as well as the need for additional mentors to help our young people succeed, by declaring January as Mentoring Month in Iowa.”

Local Mentoring Programs

If you are interested in learning more about how to volunteer or refer a child to a program to one of the program in the North Iowa area, please contact a local program below or at

Bridges Mentoring Program 641-732-3566
Serving Osage, Riceville, and St. Ansgar Community Schools.

Caring Connections- Floyd County 641-257-6160

One on One Mentoring Project 641-421-2708
Serving Cerro Gordo County, Garner-Hayfield/Ventura and Forest City schools.

RSVP of North Central Iowa 641-422-4254
Currently RSVP of North Central Iowa volunteers are serving in 12 school districts within Cerro Gordo, Hancock, Winnebago and Worth counties.

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