January is National Mentoring Month

January 4, 2021
A teenager and his mentor or coach sit on bleachers in a stadium talking and smiling.

January is National Mentoring Month, a time to celebrate mentors and the incredible impact they have on youth, while also raising awareness for the mentoring gap in the U.S.

Young people who have mentors experience many benefits, including being more likely to enroll in college, less likely to drink alcohol or do drugs, increased participation in sports and extracurricular activities, better school attendance, and overall social well-being. Mentored youth are also 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities. 

In partnership with MENTOR Washington, DCYF is helping to promote, support, and expand quality mentoring that fosters positive youth development, academic success, and job and career readiness.

This year, Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed January as Mentoring Month in Washington and encourages "all people in our state to recognize the importance of strengthening communities through mentoring…” 

“Mentoring is a critical component in young people’s lives, which is why it is so important for us to honor the mentors who volunteer their time, as well as promote the continued need for mentors in our communities across the state,” said DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter. “DCYF’s partnership with MENTOR Washington allows us the opportunity to dedicate resources to quality mentoring experiences for young people in our state.”

Currently, one in three young people in the U.S. will reach the age of 19 without having a mentor of any kind. This is the mentoring gap in America.

MENTOR Washington offers support to mentoring programs throughout the state and matches young people with caring adults. MENTOR Washington and DCYF hope to see that every child in our state in need of a mentor has one.

For more information and to learn how to become or find a mentor, contact Tom Pennella at tom.pennella@dcyf.wa.gov or visit www.mentorwashington.org.