WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) joined a bipartisan resolution led by U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) on Thursday recognizing January 2019 as “National Mentoring Month” to raise awareness of the power of mentors to help young people determine their goals and reach their full potential. On Saturday, Murphy hosted one of his regular pancake breakfasts with mentors, mentees, and volunteers from Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Connecticut, Governors Prevention Partnership, and AmeriCorps to recognize National Mentoring Month.
“Just last week, I met with and honored incredible mentors and mentees from across Connecticut at my pancake breakfast in Middletown. Data tells us the most impactful intervention in a kid’s life is having a positive role model. Often, that’s a mentor. I’m proud to cosponsor this resolution to highlight mentorship programs, encourage more people to join these programs and transform more kids’ lives for the better,” said Murphy.
“Everyone can think back to that one person in their lives who took them under their wing at a critical moment to open new doors and launch new possibilities. We owe a debt of gratitude to all the mentors who have shared their time, expertise and wisdom to give others a head start,” said Blumenthal.
“Some of my proudest achievements have been about making a small, personal difference in the life of another person, especially a young person,” said Isakson. “This resolution is both a ‘thank you’ to those who spend their time helping our young people and an encouragement for more folks to get involved in mentoring. During my time as a Sunday school teacher and a coach for youth sports as well as being an elected representative, I’ve had many opportunities to talk with kids and offer encouragement and words of advice as they navigate their daily lives and future aspirations. It always benefits both of us – I end up learning so much from the person I’m trying to help.”
“Mentors are a vital presence in the lives of many young people. They set an important example, pass down wisdom and knowledge, and serve as steady, caring friends. I am proud to join Senator Isakson in honoring the contributions of mentors around the country,” said Whitehouse.
The resolution recognizes the benefits of mentoring, as well as mentoring programs, and volunteers who serve as mentors. The resolution also highlights the positive effects of young people who have a mentor. According to the MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, these benefits include students who are:
· 46 percent less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs,
· 55 percent more likely to be enrolled in college,
· 81 percent more likely to report participation in sports or other extracurricular activities,
· More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or a sports team, and
· 78 percent more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities.
Further, the resolution recognizes that an estimated 9 million young people feel isolated from meaningful connections with adults outside the home, constituting a “mentoring gap” and underscoring the importance of more adults investing their time in the future of America’s youth.
In addition to Murphy, Blumenthal, Isakson, and Whitehouse, the 2019 National Mentoring Month resolution is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).