President Obama calls on Americans to volunteer as mentors

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January is National Mentoring Month, an annual media campaign calling on Americans to mentor the estimated 15 million young people who are in need of mentors.

A story describes the campaign, which is spearheaded by the Harvard Mentoring Project at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), MENTOR, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Celebrities who have participated in the cause since the first National Mentoring Month include Gen. Colin Powell, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Brokaw, Maya Angelou, former President Bill Clinton, and Kenneth Cole. This year, President Obama issued a presidential proclamation about Mentoring Month, saying that we honor those “who unlock the potential and nurture the talent of our country, and we encourage more Americans to reach out and mentor young people in their community.”

Research indicates that mentors can have a significant impact in reducing youth violence and drug use and boosting achievement, according to the HSPH Center for Health Communications.