Special Guests to Make MN Mentoring Conference Extra Special

September 14, 2010

The Minnesota Mentoring Conference, now in its eleventh year, has established a reputation for hosting workshops and keynote addresses presented by outstanding practitioners.  Past speakers have included the likes of Emmy-winner Michael Brandwein, esteemed academic researcher and author Dr. Michael Karcher, and plenty of the region’s expert mentoring professionals.

This year, conference attendees can expect even more from the event, themed, “Quality in Action.”  Not only are there 24 well-rounded workshops to choose from, but participants will also hear from three featured, nationally-acclaimed, guest speakers.

Dr. Andrea Taylor of Temple University will present the keynote address.  Dr. Taylor knows about quality in action. She is the Developer and Principal Investigator of Across Ages, a comprehensive, intergenerational mentoring program designed to reduce adolescent drug abuse among 9- to 13-year-olds. Across Ages has been designated as a Model Program by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and is the only mentoring program to receive such a designation. In addition, the Across Ages model has been recognized as a Best Practice Model in Youth Violence Prevention by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; a Top 25 Youth Development Program by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; a Commendable Practice by the Child Welfare League of America; and a Model Program – Case Study for North America by the United Nations Office of Drug Control Programs. Across Ages has been replicated in more than 30 sites in 17 states.

Dr. Larry Wright, President & CEO of MENTOR, the National Mentoring Partnership, is also flying out to Minnesota for the conference from Washington DC.  In 2010, MENTOR is celebrating its 20th year as the premier advocate for youth mentoring in the United States; MENTOR’s network of 25 state mentoring partnerships provide support to 5000 mentoring programs serving 3 million youth.  Before joining MENTOR, Wright was the Executive Director of Washington State Mentors in Seattle, Washington. During that time, the organization grew to become one of the largest and most successful mentoring partnerships in the country.  Wright has also conducted research on nonprofits in both the United States and Europe.

Dr. Peter Benson, President & CEO of the world-renowned Search Institute, will also grace the conference stage.  Dr. Benson’s international reputation in human development emerged in the 1990s through his innovative, research-based framework of Developmental Assets, the most widely recognized approach to positive youth development. His vision, research, and public voice have inspired a sea of change in research, practice, and policy. Dr. Benson’s work has inspired and guided more than 600 community-based initiatives in 45 states, every Canadian province, and on six continents.  Dr. Benson continues to break new ground in the study of human development. Most recently, he has focused on conceptualizing a new understanding of thriving. His insight, vision, and passion have made him a widely sought speaker, writer, and consultant for major national and international events and policy initiatives.

Read more about all three special guest speakers here.

Today is the last day to register at the Early Bird Rate of $100 for the 11th Annual Minnesota Mentoring Conference.  After that and until the day of the conference on October 25, the standard registration rate will be $130, and students and AmeriCorps members can register at a discounted rate of $60.  The conference will take place on the University of Minnesota’s Saint Paul campus.  Learn more…

The 11th Annual Minnesota Mentoring Conference is sponsored by Federated Insurance, the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development, the Carlson Family Foundation, Delta Dental, Mayo Clinic and Target.

Post author Mindy Twetten is the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota’s Marketing & Communications Coordinator.