Wendi Russo 

Latest Mentor News

On March 26th the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly voted 79-19 to pass an amended version of H.R. 1388, the Serve America Act the largest expansion of national and community service in this country since the 1930s. This version preserved and improved provisions supportive of youth mentoring. In addition to earning the support of the entire Democratic caucus and two Independents, the bill was also supported by a majority of the Republican caucus. What this represents, beyond broad recognition that service is a critical strategy in addressing our most pressing challenges, is the opportunity to move our country's national and community service program forward in a powerful way that is fully embraced by both parties.

Mentor News:

Legislative Victories and Challenges for Mentoring Programs Nationwide

March 24, 2009: A flurry of legislation affecting mentoring programs across the country is in play on Capitol Hill, and in a few instances, has already resulted in committed mentoring funds.

The 2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill that President Obama recently signed included roughly $49.3 million for the Mentoring Children of Prisoners program and $48.5 million for mentoring programs through the Department of Education.

In addition, Mentoring Partnerships in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Long Island, NY, received grants to strengthen school-based mentoring or create new mentoring programs, increase mentor numbers, strengthen existing programs, increase volunteer retention and develop ways to help mentees prepare for college.

Legislation from the last Congress that has been or is being reintroduced this year includes:

The Child Safety Pilot (SafetyNET), which would allow youth-serving organizations access to FBI background checks on potential volunteers and employees. The Mentoring America's Children Act, which would strengthen mentoring program grants through the Department of Education. The Mentoring For All Act, which would create a competitive $50 million grant fund to strengthen and grow mentoring infrastructure and provide additional resources and funding to direct-service mentoring programs.

Obama Promotes Mentoring during January's National Mentoring Month in New York Times

By STUART ELLIOTT Published: December 18, 2008 EVERY time he does something as president-elect that could be construed as presidential, Barack Obama has been saying, “We only have one president at a time.” But Mr. Obama will soon be doing something before his inauguration that has long been the province of presidents: appearing in a public service campaign.
The ServiceNation.org campaign that features Barack Obama is to raise awareness during National Mentoring Month.
A print advertisement featuring Mr. Obama has been created to promote the idea of becoming a mentor to a child. There may also be a companion video clip that could be watched online. The campaign, produced on behalf of ServiceNation.org, is timed for National Mentoring Month, which has been observed each January since 2002.
The print ad presents a photograph of Mr. Obama above the headline “Be the change. Mentor a child.” There is also an excerpt from a speech Mr. Obama gave in Colorado in July, which begins, “We need your service, right now, in this moment — our moment — in history.”

Minnesotans answer Obama's plea to Be the Change: Feb. 3, 2009

Minneapolis/St. Paul ranked #1 large city with the highest volunteer rate in the country again - 39.3%.  The Corporation for National and Community Service released Volunteering in America, a detailed, multi-year report on volunteering trends and demographics in all 50 states, U.S. regions, and 162 cities.

Mentoring News : www.Mentoringworks.org

April 17, 2007 *New Research Reveals Significant Economic Value In Minnesotas Youth Mentoring and Intervention Programs The Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota (MPM) and Minnesota Youth Intervention Programs Association (YIPA) publicly released the first-ever formal economic estimate of the cost and benefit of youth mentoring and youth intervention programs in Minnesota at the University of Minnesota.
Quality youth mentoring programs can expect a $2.72 return for every dollar spent on effective mentoring programs in the state, and an average return of $4.89 for every dollar invested in youth intervention programs, according to conservative estimates outlined in the two studies.

*December 28, 2007  President issued a proclamation designating January 2008 as National Mentoring Month. National Mentoring Month is an initiative of the Harvard Mentoring Project, MENTOR, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

*December 20, 2007 Federal Mentoring Funding Preserved for FY2008
We have great news to report! Thanks to combined efforts of our grassroots advocates and MENTOR's direct advocacy on Capitol Hill, Congress has sustained the $100 million in funding for mentoring for FY2008.

* November 2, 2007 First Lady Laura Bush Announces MENTOR's Administration of Demonstration Program : Yesterday, First Lady Laura Bush announced a 30 million dollar initiative to create a nationwide voucher program designed to provide children of incarcerated parents with expanded access to mentoring services. Mrs. Bush also announced that MENTOR has been selected to design and administer the project.

*The Mentoring Partnership is disappointed to report that legislation to fund criminal background checks (HF 698 and SF 823) for mentoring programs was cut in the final round of the Public Safety Conference Committee on April 30, 2007.  

*September 2007:  SafetyNet Program is created by Congress and co-sponsored by Lifelock & Newsweek.  SafetyNet provides mentoring organizations access to Nationwide FBI Fingerprint searchs.  A more thorough background search that what otherwise was available.  James E. Duffy, former President of ABC TV & Founding Mentor board member gave the news.Lifelock is the nations' leading identity theft prevention service

January 24: *Thank Your Mentor Day :reach out to thank or honor those individuals who encouraged and guided you, and had a lasting impact on your life. 

There are "Four Ways to Honor Your Mentor: 1) contact your mentor directly to express your appreciation; 2) "pass it on" by becoming a mentor to a young person in your community; 3) make a financial contribution to a local mentoring program; and, 4) write a tribute to your mentor for posting on the campaign's Web site. Additional information about National Mentoring Month is available at www.WhoMentoredYou.org

Thank you Dr. Nicki Burke Monti--My mentor and teacher! 

An amazing woman who helped me to become who I am today!  I was recently featured on her radio show on Healthnet.com  about transforming your life!  She is the author of "Stuck in the Story No More" and lives in Los Angeles.  www.stucknomore.com

Holly Ernst was my mentor before the Mrs. Minnesota America pageant--she coached me to success in every category!

Thank you Holly for your help and friendship!  Go to www.hollyernsy.com to learn more about her coaching.

Holly & I at Bessie's Party preparing for the pageant.


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