During the month of January, we celebrate National Mentoring Month—a time to reflect on the tremendous impact mentors have on the lives of our nation’s youth.

At this time, we hope you will join Mentoring Central and countless others to raise awareness of mentoring, to recruit individuals to become involved in formal mentoring programs, to encourage mentors to become prepared for the realities of mentoring, and to promote the rapid growth of mentoring.

Mentoring provides a positive adult role model for youth. We know the difference a responsible, caring adult can make in the life of a child or adolescent. Studies have shown that young people in effective mentoring relationships get better grades in school, are less likely to drink, and are less likely to be absent from school.

Dr. Jean Rhodes, Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring, has noted that the most significant predictor of positive youth outcomes from mentoring is a close, trusting relationship between mentors and mentees. The fact is, however, these positive outcomes are only possible when young people are engaged in high-quality mentoring relationships.

In high-quality relationships, mentees feel that they have a good relationship with their mentor and that their mentor is focused on the mentee’s interests. National Mentoring Month focuses national attention on the need for adults to serve as mentors for children. Mentoring Central wishes to thank the countless mentors who are making a real difference in the lives of our youth.

We are looking forward to celebrating the impact of mentoring this January, and we encourage you to join us!