Mentoring Gets a New Fan

December 18, 2008 - 1:00am

Youth mentoring just got a very big new fan: President-Elect Barack Obama. On December 19, the New York Times reported that Obama is set to appear in a public service campaign in support of National Mentoring Month, which has been celebrated each January since 2002. In the print ad, Obama appears above the headline, “Be the change. Mentor a child.”

Dr. Jay A.Winsten of the Center for Health Communication at the Harvard School of Public Health, who was involved in Obama’s campaign, told the Times that encouraging mentoring is “a public health effort” just like “substance abuse prevention or violence prevention.” Winsten predicts Obama will make public service a central cause of his presidency. “I would say volunteer service’s moment has arrived,” he said.

Or as Obama said in a speech excerpted in the mentoring campaign, “We need your service, right now, in this moment, our moment, in history.”

iMentor’s 1,000 volunteer mentors are already heeding the call.

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