Mayor de Blasio Marks National Mentoring Month with Launch of NYC Youth Mentoring Initiative

January 11, 2017

The initiative will bring schools, City agencies, community-based mentoring organizations and the business community together to establish mentoring programs in 400 high schools by 2022

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Chief Service Officer Paula Gavin today marked National Mentoring Month by launching the NYC Youth Mentoring Initiative to increase mentoring opportunities for high school youth across the five boroughs. The initiative aims to establish mentoring programs in 400 New York City high schools by 2022, annually engaging 14,000 New Yorkers as volunteer mentors to 40,000 high school students. The initiative will support the City’s Equity and Excellence plan to achieve 80 percent high school graduation and two-thirds college-readiness rates by 2026.

The initiative launch includes an audio and video PSA, as well as a bus shelter campaign encouraging more New Yorkers to serve as volunteer mentors to high school youth.

“New Yorkers know our greatest strength is our people, so we must work together to invest in our future,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The NYC Youth Mentoring Initiative is about reaching more high school youth across the city with positive mentoring relationships that can shape the path to their future and ours. I want to thank the many committed partners involved in this multi-sector collaboration, as well as the thousands of New Yorkers who already mentor young people in our City. I ask that you inspire someone else in your life to visit nyc.gov/service and become a personal champion to a young person in their community.”

“The NYC Youth Mentoring Initiative is a powerful, one of a kind program with the potential to touch thousands of lives across the five boroughs,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “The New York City Council is proud to work with the Administration on this new initiative to help our city’s youth grow and learn every day by fostering impactful mentorships.”

"Children need to believe that any future is possible for them. Research shows that quality youth mentoring programs can help children believe in themselves and invest in their futures," said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery. “I’m so glad that this Administration takes the promise of mentoring seriously and is engaging community-based mentoring organizations to reach 40,000 kids with NYC Youth Mentoring.”

“We know that quality mentoring relationships create pathways to positive youth development and open doors of opportunity,” said NYC Chief Service Officer Paula Gavin. “This initiative is bringing our City together to take bold steps towards ensuring more New Yorkers see the value in mentoring High school youth, more students have a mentorship experience, and we encourage a cycle of mentoring in our communities. NYC Service is honored to be part of this important effort and we thank our schools, City agencies, community-based mentoring organizations, and businesses for joining forces to make the future of our City a priority.”

The NYC Youth Mentoring Initiative is a collaborative effort by NYC Service, the Department of Education, Department of Youth & Community Development, Center for Youth Employment, the Young Men’s Initiative and community-based mentoring organizations across New York City. As a proven youth development strategy which contributes to positive decision making, education achievements and successful career and college choices, mentoring will be encouraged among more New York City high school youth while also encouraging more New Yorkers to step up as mentors to these students. From the current baseline of approximately 20,000 High School mentees and 9,000 volunteer mentors, the Youth Mentoring Initiative will double the number of mentees and increase the number of volunteer mentors by 55 percent over the next five years.

The initiative will also offer prospective volunteer mentors a wide range of mentoring opportunities and models with flexibility and broad applicability to support their community and engage with youth. The initiative will both expand existing mentoring programs and focus on launching new programs in Young Men’s Initiative priority communities, including East Harlem, South Bronx, South Jamaica, Brownsville, East New York and Staten Island’s North Shore.

The growth from 20,000 to 40,000 High School mentees will be driven by the following:

  1. Established mentoring programs in at least 400 high schools through the expansion of current community-based organization (CBO) mentoring programs, launch of new high school mentoring programs by CBOs, and expansion of College/Career Awareness mentoring as well as “one day programs” for a total of 33,000 high school mentees.
  1. Expansion of embedded mentoring programs in DYCD workforce development programs for a total of 3,000 high school mentees.
  1. Expansion of CBO programs at CBO centers to 6,000 high school mentees.

The growth from 9,000 volunteer mentors to 14,000 will be driven by campaigns to reach and engage the following:

  1. Individual New Yorkers through groups, associations, colleges/universities and faith-based organizations with a neighborhood focus.
  1. Corporations and small businesses.
  1. City employees.

Youth who were at-risk of falling off track but had a mentor are:

  • 37 percent less likely to skip a class.
  • 81 percent more likely to participate regularly in sports or extracurricular activities than those who do not.
  • 55 percent more likely to enroll in college.
  • 90 percent are interested in becoming a mentor.
  • 130 percent more likely to hold leadership positions.

More information on the benefits of mentoring can be found here.

“Bringing mentoring opportunities to student’s educational experience enriches their learning and provides a unique opportunity to develop transferable skills, cultivate meaningful relationships with caring adults, and develop valuable interpersonal skills,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “As part of our ongoing partnership with NYC Service, this program will now reach even more students across the City and we look forward to building on this critical work.”

“Mentors play a vital role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible decisions, stay focused and unlock their full potential. Whether helping mentees study for a test, learn a new skill, or lift them up after a setback, mentors provide our youth with the strength and resilience to move forward and set their sights even higher,” said Department of Youth & Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong. “We are truly grateful to Mayor de Blasio and our partners across the City for recognizing the importance of this national movement, and for inspiring role models to become mentors and help extend ladders of opportunity to our next generation of New Yorkers.”

“A caring and supportive mentoring relationship serves as a force multiplier for young adults’ positive developmental experiences,” said David Fischer, Executive Director of the NYC Center for Youth Employment. “The Center is excited to be a part of the NYC Youth Mentoring Initiative as an important element of our mission to expand, align and improve programs helping young New Yorkers gain work experiences, build skills, and explore potential career paths.”

“Mentorship and guidance have been shown to provide a significant benefit to a young person’s development,” said W.Cyrus Garrett, Executive Director of the New York City Young Men’s Initiative. “As the Director of the Young Men’s Initiative, I am all too aware that many young men and women of color do not have the same opportunities for mentorship simply because of where they live. I am proud to be a part of the NYC Youth Mentoring Implementation Committee that aims to ensure all of New York City’s young people have equitable access to additional guidance and support as they search for the avenues to opportunity from within their own communities.”

“A good mentor can provide an opportunity for our youth to learn necessary life skills needed to succeed,” said Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman. “Positive and healthy relationships are essential in an adolescent's development. The guidance mentors provide can be the difference in a young person's life.”

“I want to congratulate Mayor de Blasio and his team on the launch of the NYC Youth Mentoring Initiative,” said Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte. “Mentoring is one of those proven tools at our disposal used to guide young people and it is high impact, but low cost. Sometimes all it takes for many of our young people is to have hope, and to know that someone cares about them and is invested and interested in their future. It is great to see the partnership between the government, public and private sectors come together for a mutual benefit. The NYC Youth Mentoring Initiative is further evidence of the Mayor’s commitment to help develop and contribute to the success of each child.”

“As New Yorkers, one of the most important roles we play is when we empower our youth to fulfill their God given potential,” said Council Member Mathieu Eugene. They are our future leaders, and we must do everything in our power to provide them with proper guidance as mentors. Far too often, high school students are deprived of the positive influences that are imperative for long term success. It is our civic duty to improve this circumstance, and this initiative will be a tremendous benefit to the community.”

“This new mentoring initiative means a brighter future for New York City high school youth,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm, Chair of the Committee on Education. “By connecting students with accomplished professionals, these programs will have a tremendous positive impact on these students' grades and careers. I commend the Mayor for putting our children on the pathway to success and will continue to work alongside the administration to support this important effort.”

“As an organization that trains New Yorkers​ how our city really works so they can make it better, ​we are pleased to partner with NYC Service and engage our community of 2,500 alumni across business, government, schools and nonprofits in this effort,” said Scott Millstein, Executive Director of the CoroNew York Leadership Center. “Our alumni are committed to building a better ​New York and mentoring the next generation is an important part of that work.”

“The Council of Urban Professionals (CUP) believes that when individuals are empowered to succeed, the community as a whole prospers,” said Chanda Gibson, Executive Director of the Council of Urban Professionals. “It is in that spirit that CUP is thrilled to take part in the NYC Youth Mentoring Initiative – inciting the diverse and dynamic professionals we serve to invest in the future of our city’s youth.”

“By calling attention to the power of mentoring and the need for more volunteers, NYC Service is helping us match more high school students with the mentors who will help them become the first in their families to attend and graduate college,” said Max Polaner, Executive Director of iMentor NYC. “Every student deserves a champion, and NYC Service is helping us find them!”

“Minds Matter NYC is thrilled to be partnering with the Mayor's Office on this important initiative,” said Erika Halstead, Executive Director for Minds Matter NYC. “Mentoring is the heart of our work and over the last 25 years, we’ve witnessed how it not only dramatically improves the lives of our students, but deepens and enriches the lives of our volunteer mentors as well.”

As a first step in tackling the initiative’s goals, NYC Service launched the “Good for Me. Good for My City.” campaign in partnership with 20 New York City businesses committed to champion mentorship for high school students, as well as overall employee volunteer engagement.

Each partner has pledged to engage employees as mentors to high school students in 2017 and increase their overall number of New York City-based employees who volunteer. Collectively, campaign partners will engage 5,000 employees as mentors to High School students within our City in 2017 and over 30,000 New York City-based employees in volunteerism overall.

“Good for Me. Good for My City.” Campaign Partners

American Airlines
American Express
AOL
Brookfield
Citi
Con Edison

Deloitte
Deutsche Bank
DigitasLBi
EY
Goldman Sachs
HBO
JetBlue

Morgan Stanley
Moody’s
MUFG
New York City Football Club
RSM
SL Green Realty
SoulCycle

“American Airlines is proud to be a charter member of the Good for Me. Good for My City. campaign,” said Darryl Towns, regional director of Government Affairs at American Airlines. “We are committed to corporate social responsibility in New York City and to supporting the goals of our City through employee volunteer engagement.”

“Since our founding in 1850, we at American Express have devoted ourselves to serving the communities in which we live and work,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation. “We are proud to partner on the Good for Me. Good for My City. campaign and look forward to further serving the youth of New York City through the power of mentorship.”

“As a media and technology company, we’re passionate about fostering innovation and growth in both arts and technology by providing opportunities for future leaders of all backgrounds,” said Sara Link, VP, Citizen AOL. “When diverse perspectives come together, companies produce better products that more people love. However, minorities only make up less than 5 percent of STEM-based workforces.” 

“Brookfield is proud to be a part of New York City’s Good for Me. Good for My City. campaign,” said Brookfield Properties Chief Administrative Officer Lauren Young. “Brookfield benefits greatly from – and relentlessly aims to contribute to – New York City’s success, and our employees are always looking for new ways to help the City thrive. Congratulations to NYC Service and the de Blasio Administration for providing this dynamic new platform to promote corporate mentorship and volunteerism.”

“A strong mentoring relationship is a win-win for everyone involved. It’s a powerful tool for supporting young people on their journey to success, and also provides an important benefit and sense of community to the caring adults who commit their time and talents,” said Brandee McHale, Director of Corporate Citizenship at Citi. “We are proud to join Mayor de Blasio’s call for more mentors as part of the Good for Me. Good for My City. campaign, and are committed to engaging more of our employees as volunteers throughout the year.”

“Con Edison employees will be excited about this opportunity to help to bring out the best in young students throughout our city,” said Con Edison Senior Vice President Frances A. Resheske. “Our employees enjoy mentoring young men and women, offering knowledge and experience that can prove invaluable as they consider possible career paths.” 

“We are proud to partner with NYC Service and other businesses to promote and support employee engagement through volunteerism,” said Alessandra DiGiusto, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Americas at Deutsche Bank. “Deutsche Bank’s corporate social responsibility commitment includes a focus on youth. This partnership provides an excellent opportunity for employees to mentor New York City high school students to help them realize their full potential.” 

“Community service and volunteerism are an integral part of our culture at DigitasLBi,” said Laurent Ezekiel, Managing Director, New York region, DigitasLBi. “We're proud to partner with the Mayor’s Office to mentor NYC high school students and promote positive youth development. We encourage other NY-based agencies to join us in supporting the Good for Me. Good for My City. campaign.”

“EY is excited to be a part of the Good For Me. Good for My City. campaign which will support our continued efforts to mentor and educate our city’s youth,” said Mark Besca, New York City Office Managing Partner of Ernst & Young LLP. “Engaging more organizations to participate and volunteer will strengthen our communities and the future of the next generations.”

“Goldman Sachs is pleased to work in partnership with the City, local leaders and private sector to highlight the critical role of mentors and make sure more young people across the city receive the guidance needed to help them realize their potential,” said Lisa Dolberry Hancock, Vice President of Office of Corporate Engagement at Goldman Sachs.

“HBO Corporate Social Responsibility is excited to further our partnership with NYC Service as part of the city’s Good for Me. Good for My City. campaign,” said Dennis Williams, vice president, corporate social responsibility, HBO. “Through this initiative, HBO continues to strengthen its relationships with NYC communities as well as allow HBO employees to make an impact through their commitment to volunteering and mentoring opportunities.”

“Youth and education are two core pillars for JetBlue For Good, our platform for social impact and corporate responsibility. These areas are important to our nearly 20,000 crewmembers, our communities and our industry,” said Icema Gibbs, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at JetBlue. “Beyond the National Day of Service, it is vital for the public and private sectors to work together to help students achieve and impact systemic change.”

“As a proud participant in New York City Service’s Good for Me. Good for My City. campaign, Moody’s is pleased to support the launch of the Mayor’s initiative to expand youth mentoring opportunities,” said Raymond McDaniel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Moody’s. “Through our work with organizations such as Girls Who Code and Big Brothers Big Sisters – our partner in supporting the ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ initiative – Moody’s has seen firsthand how mentoring helps participants access higher education and reach their potential in college and beyond. And, our employees benefit from using their skills and experience as they mentor future leaders, innovators and achievers.”

“Giving back to the community is a Morgan Stanley core value, and our employees are our greatest asset in this endeavor,” said Joan Steinberg, president of the Morgan Stanley Foundation. “We are thrilled to take part in the Good for Me. Good for My City. campaign as we continue our commitment to volunteerism in New York City, and promote mentoring of the next generation.”

“MUFG is honored to be part of the New York City mentoring program,” said Yuka Nakamura, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility for the Americas.
“This important program demonstrates the bank’s dedication to providing the vast talent and expertise that our employees have to enrich New York City’s high school curriculum.”

“We are honored to serve as a charter member of NYC Service’s Good For Me. Good For My City. campaign to increase mentoring opportunities for underserved youth across the five boroughs,” said Jon Patricof, President of New York City Football Club. “Supporting the next generation of New Yorkers continues to be a top priority for our Club.”

“RSM is proud to be one of the founding partners of the Good for Me. Good for My City. campaign, through which employees may establish meaningful and enduring relationships with the youth of New York City,” said Don Lipari, RSM’s New York Metro Market Managing Partner. “We recognize the transformational power of a strong mentor, and it is our pleasure to support our city’s high school youth as they forge their paths to success – from their academics today, to preparing for professional opportunities tomorrow.”

“SL Green is a proud partner in the Good For Me. Good For My City. campaign to promote high school mentorship and volunteering engagement,” said Marc Holliday, Chief Executive Officer of SL Green. “As New York City’s largest commercial landlord, we are excited to share our knowledge and management expertise to inspire the City’s future workforce.”

"SoulCycle has always been committed to employee volunteerism and mentorship, and looks forward to continuing these efforts in 2017,”said Julie Koster, Senior Director of Culture & Service at SoulCycle. “We are proud to serve New York City's youth and be part of the Good for Me. Good for My City. campaign.”

"As a mentor and parent, I truly believe the NYC Youth Mentorship Initiative is a step in the right direction to positively affect today's youth," said A.T. Mitchell, Founder and President of Man Up! INC.

"Being the mother of a soon to be high school student, I appreciate that Mayor de Blasio is putting the NYC Youth Mentorship Initiative in place. The Mayor has truly grasped the concept of "It Takes A Village To Raise A Child,” said Nikki Lucas, Female District Leader in the 60th Assembly District.

"Hetrick-Martin Institute applauds the Mayor’s efforts to expand mentoring opportunities so that they will now reach 40,000 youth throughout the city. We recognize the dramatic need for young people – most especially LGBTQ youth who often have fewer opportunities for mentoring than many of their peers – to have access to positive adult role models. Mentorship brings huge benefits as it reduces young people’s isolation and increases their access to the tools needed for the realization of their life’s potential,” said Thomas Krever, Chief Executive Officer at Hetrick-Martin Institute.

About NYC Service

NYC Service, a division of the Office of the Mayor, promotes volunteerism, engages New Yorkers in service and mobilizes the power of volunteers and national service members to impact New York City's greatest needs. To learn more about NYC Service and connect to volunteer opportunities across New York City, visit nyc.gov/service.

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