Governor Declares January National Mentoring Month in Iowa

Monday, January 22, 2018


January 22, 2018

Contact: Mary Sheka
​Iowa Mentoring Partnership, Volunteer Iowa
515.348.6236 / 800.308.5987

Governor Declares January National Mentoring Month in Iowa   

DES MOINES, Iowa – Governor Reynolds will make an official proclamation on January 23rd declaring January as Mentoring Month in Iowa. January 2018 marks the 16th annual National Mentoring Month, and the Iowa Mentoring Partnership (IMP) is driving this campaign aimed to begin dialogues on the importance of quality mentoring programs and the impact they have on youth in Iowa.  

“There is a powerful mentoring effect demonstrated by research and the experiences of young people who are connected to a mentor in real life,” explained 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 with a mentor at risk youth are 46 percent less likely than their peers to start using drugs, 55 percent more likely to be enrolled in college, and 78 percent more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities. Today, in Iowa, over 9,000 mentors serve youth in programs certified by the Iowa Mentoring Partnership. However, thousands more Iowa youth could benefit from having a mentor.  

"One of my top priorities is to give Iowa students the skills they need to succeed, not only in their classrooms, but also in their communities. This National Mentoring Month, it is important to focus on the impact that quality mentoring relationships have on our youth and work to make sure that every child who needs a mentor has access to one," said Governor Kim Reynolds.

Important dates for this public awareness campaign include:

January 4, 2018: “I Am a Mentor Day,” when volunteers celebrate their role and reflect on the ways mentees have enhanced their world on social media using #MentorIRL.

January 15, 2018: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, when our nation will shine a spotlight on volunteerism and inspire people to seek service opportunities.

January 23, 2018 at 1:30pm: Proclamation signing, when Governor Reynolds will make an official proclamation declaring January as Mentoring Month in Iowa.

January 25, 2018: “Thank Your Mentor Day,” when we encourage anyone who has had a mentor to say thank you by sharing a photo on social media with #ThankYourMentor, and tagging the Iowa Mentoring Partnership.

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About Iowa Mentoring Partnership

The Iowa Mentoring Partnership (IMP) serves as the certifying body for youth mentoring programs in Iowa, advancing the quality of the mentoring field by providing professional development; engaging stakeholders to increase the number of mentors; and creating awareness of the positive benefits of youth mentoring as a proven youth development strategy. IMP is a collaborative program of Volunteer Iowa and works to build relationships between government, private, and public agencies in support of youth mentoring which is essential for strengthening families, communities and the state of Iowa. More information is available at  

About Volunteer Iowa (or Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service)

Volunteer Iowa and its partner agencies work with organizations and individuals on three main fronts. The first is to help agencies develop quality programs that use service as a strategy to fulfill their missions and address Iowa’s greatest areas of need. The second is to help engage Iowans in their communities by promoting service and expanding the volunteer base. Finally, the third area of work is to connect individuals with appropriate service opportunities by building the volunteer infrastructure. More information is available at  

About MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership

National Mentoring Month is led by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, with support from the Highland Street Foundation. Each year since its launch in 2002, National Mentoring Month has enjoyed the strong support of the president and the United States Congress. Other prominent individuals who have participated in the campaign include: Maya Angelou, former President Bill Clinton, Clint Eastwood, Quincy Jones, Cal Ripken Jr., Bill Russell and Usher. More information is available at

Printed from the website on May 21, 2018 at 9:52am.