Mentor Michigan+ Celebrates Mentor Month

Michelle Small

Mentor Michigan+ celebrated National Mentoring Month by raising awareness of the value of mentoring for youth across the state. The campaign focused on recruitment and recognition of volunteer mentors.

Mentor Michigan+ provided support to 14 mentoring organizations to help recognize current mentors, as well as enroll potential quality mentors into their programs. All projects supported by Mentor Michigan+ aimed to emphasize the positive relationships between mentors and mentees, by highlighting real life instances and sharing them with their community to inspire others to join the mentoring movement.

Bethany Christian Services in Grand Rapids invited potential mentors and mentees to a recruitment event featuring a cultural experience. Five existing mentor-mentee matches, each representing different countries, created a cultural experience of their individual country. Each mentor and mentee pair set up a station of food and an activity that represented their cultural background. Mentor-mentee recruits were provided mock "passports,” for each station as they "traveled" from each country and cultural station. The existing mentor-mentee pairs were able to inspire the recruits, share their personal experiences regarding mentorship and encourage the potential mentors to partner with potential mentees during the event.

In Redford, Methodist Children's Home Society hosted a Mentor Appreciation Bowling Party for their current and potential mentors and mentees. Attendees learned about program benefits and requirements and prospective mentors had the chance to meet with local youth in need of positive role models in their life. Both groups were able to converse and connect to try to find their ideal match.

To further celebrate Mentor Month, Mentor Michigan+ recognized the strength of mentor and mentee relationships by joining the social media campaign, #ThankYourMentor. Participants were encouraged to write a message about their mentor and share it through social media platforms. This notion gave mentees the opportunity to personally thank people who have inspired them, as well as honor the mentor movement.

“Mentors play such a critical role in youth development. We encourage everyone to serve as a mentor and to thank their mentor, not only during Mentor Month, but year-round,” said David Martus, Director of Youth Initiatives for the Michigan Community Service Commission.

For more information about mentoring, visit www.Michigan.gov/MentorMichigan