Dayton Scholars

Created in memory of MENTOR Minnesota’s late founder and former board chair, the Robert (Bob) J. Dayton Mentoring Scholarship fund honors his memory and dedication to the mentoring movement in Minnesota. The scholarships support the enhancement and elevation of mentoring matches coordinated through quality mentoring programs within MENTOR Minnesota’s network. Scholarships provide financial assistance to nourish mentoring relationships through athletic, civic or cultural engagement, education, service learning, and/or social activities. Scholarships are awarded annually from applications available in January or February. Interested matches should check back for open application cycles.

In 2019, the Dayton Scholars program awarded 12 scholarships across the state of Minnesota. Matches requested scholarships for a variety of activities to enhance their relationships throughout the year:

Applications for 2020 are now OPEN.

More Information


2019 Dayton Scholars Experiences

Jennifer & D.

Jennifer and her mentee, D., applied for a Dayton Mentoring Scholarship to use towards art exploration. Jennifer described D. as a shy, withdrawn teenager that spends a lot of time in front of a screen. Jennifer and D. often watch movies together, but Jennifer was hoping to have more time exploring activities that would enhance D.’s creativity and increase her self-esteem. Art, a healing and calming activity, would also allow Jennifer and D. to talk to each other more.

One of their favorite projects involved oil paintings. D. was interested in painting in the style of Bob Ross, and together they both watched one of his shows for inspiration. Jennifer recalled her and D. sitting at her kitchen table painting together for 3 hours:

“We enjoyed this time together so much and we encouraged each other to keep trying. D. felt very good about her painting and I know that it bolstered her self-esteem. We enjoyed it so much that we are going to do it again this week!”

Jennifer and D. tried their hand at acrylic paint, bead making, jewelry making, knitting and crocheting, drawing and sketching, watercolor, and calligraphy. Reflecting on their experiences together, Jennifer said:

“I can’t thank you enough for this grant and the opportunity to do art with D. We have learned new things, we have grown a lot in our interests, [and] we have communicated more. I think that because D. has been so successful in her art activities that this has built her self esteem and made her feel good about herself.”


Contribute to the Robert J. Dayton Mentoring Scholarship

Bob was one of Minnesota’s greatest champions for mentoring. He believed all young people deserve the privilege of having strong relationships with caring adults who can help them do great things. Bob was called a “life enhancer” because of his work. MENTOR Minnesota and its generous donors will continue to further his legacy of relationships through the Dayton Scholars program. You can make a donation online or with a check made payable to MENTOR Minnesota. Please note in the memo line “Dayton Scholars” and send to:

MENTOR Minnesota
43 Main Street, Suite 508
Minneapolis, MN 55413