MPM is Coast to Coast this Week

January 27, 2011

Between the National Mentoring Summit in Washington DC Tuesday, the Friends for Youth Conference in California today and Friday, and those of us holding down the fort in frosty old Minnesota, Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota (MPM) staff are spanning the country this week.

Washington D.C. – National Mentoring Summit

MPM Executive Director Joellen Gonder-Spacek attended the inaugural National Mentoring Summit, “Achieving Academic and Social Success: Supporting Youth through Mentoring,” which was hosted by MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, the Harvard School of Public Health, the Corporation for National & Community Service, and OJJDP.  

The event featured workshops with nationally-known leaders in mentoring research, a luncheon, and a keynote address from First Lady Michelle Obama.  An Associated Press article quoted her as saying,  “If the president and the first lady can mentor, shoot, everybody has got a little time.”

Joellen had a lot of good things to say about the summit.  “I was affirmed to see so many people, from the First Lady to business and education leaders, cabinet members, mentor program leaders, and researchers, validate the importance and need for positive adult mentors in young people’s lives.

“I was particularly moved by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s story about a high school basketball player that he idolized who befriended and mentored him and is still an important friend and advisor in his life today. Michelle Obama talked about the three types of friends that we all need; someone ahead of you to show the way, someone to walk with you (a mentor, parent, peers) to help you navigate the day to day challenges and share the good times, and someone behind that you reach to back to help. Even the most powerful people in the country had someone who helped them become what they are today. The challenge is to ensure that we all do our part in ensuring that children have access to quality mentoring experiences at every stage of their lives.”

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

Minnesota – Holding Down the Fort at the MPM Office

For those of us back here at the office, there has been even more hubbub than usual this week. Tuesday was Thank Your Mentor Day, we conducted a Sparks training for mentors Wednesday, and this morning the Metro Mentor Network met and had a great discussion about mentor recruitment.

There’s also been a bunch of planning for the upcoming “Disordered [thy name is teenager]” training, Elements of Effective Practice training, Quality in Action webinar, and 2011 Rally for Youth Day at the Capitol.

California – Friends for Youth Conference

At the Friends For Youth Conference in Redwood Shores, CA, MPM’s Director of Training & Community Partnerships, April Riordan, will be presenting “Sparks:  Building Deep and Sustained Relationships with Young People.”  April has presented similar training sessions here in Minnesota, and the response has been phenomenal.  Learn more about Sparks training and resources for mentors on our website.