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
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,” saidMayor 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 visitnyc.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:
- 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.
- Expansion of embedded mentoring programs in DYCD workforce development programs for a total of 3,000 high school mentees.
- 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:
- Individual New Yorkers through groups, associations, colleges/universities and faith-based organizations with a neighborhood focus.
- Corporations and small businesses.
- 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.
“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.”
More information on the benefits of mentoring can be found here.