iRT Researchers to Present at National Mentoring Summit
January proclaimed as National Mentoring Month

Durham, NC (January 20, 2015)—Researchers from innovation Research & Training (IRT) will be among other scientists, and corporate and government officials, civic leaders, and national youth-serving organizations presenting at the upcoming National Mentoring Summit January 28-30, in Washington, D.C.

The annual summit caps a month-long youth mentoring awareness campaign—National Mentoring Month. The 2015 National Mentoring Month campaign celebrates the power of mentoring relationships and the resulting “mentoring effect” that strengthens local communities. The campaign will focus on engaging more community members through the message “Be Someone Who Matters to Someone Who Matters.”

In announcing support for National Mentoring Month and the annual summit, Dr. Janis Kupersmidt, iRT founder and president said, “The influence of a role model is powerful in the life of a youth.  Our research has shown that when a child is matched through a quality mentoring program, mentors play a key role in providing the tools to enhance a child’s life.”’

During the summit, Dr. Kupersmidt and other iRT scientists will present research findings from their studies on youth mentoring. In the session “What the Research Says: Highlights from Recent Evaluations,” Dr. Kupersmidt, a leading researcher in the mentoring field, will share findings from the latest work on youth mentoring and join other researchers to offer an overview of emerging research and trends.  Specifically, Dr. Kupersmidt will present on the results of a study on the effectiveness of a pre-match, web-based mentor training program that iRT developed designed to help organizations better prepare adults for mentoring youth, help mentors form stronger and longer lasting relationships, and help prepare mentors to behave in a safe and ethical manner with their mentees.

Dr. Rebecca Stelter, iRT research scientist will lead the session “Helping Close the Mentoring Gap: Innovative Approaches to Training and Engaging Youth and Their Caregivers.” This workshop will provide the audience with information about strategies for engaging youth and their caregivers in the mentoring relationship through training and innovative approaches to mentoring.

During a session titled “The Young Men’s Initiative Mentoring Programs: A model for public-private partnerships,” Dr. Stelter will discuss the New York City Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) mentoring programs and the implementation of a program quality evaluation and improvement process aimed at enhancing the practices of the YMI mentoring programs.

The summit’s “Effective Program Practices in Mentoring Programs Serving At-Risk Youth” workshop will feature highlights from research conducted by Drs. Kupersmidt and Kathryn Stump under the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP’s) Mentoring Best Practices Research initiative. The presentation will include an overview of the initiative by the program officer, Dr. Jennifer Tyson, at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and a discussion about how research funded under this OJJDP program has the potential to advance the field. The presentation will focus on the results of an assessment of the usage and impact of program practices outlined in the Third Edition of the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring (EEPM) by mentoring programs serving three populations of at-risk youth: children of incarcerated parents, youth in foster care, and juvenile offenders.

“The National Mentoring Summit is a great venue for presenting research to colleagues from around the country, allowing them to keep up with cutting edge discoveries, and for making new collaborations,” said Dr. Kupersmidt.  “iRT is honored to share with the mentoring community the findings from our research.”

This year, Mentoring Central will join local mentoring programs across the country to leverage National Mentoring Month to continue the dialogue on the importance of expanding the reach of quality mentoring programs. As part of the awareness campaign, during the summit, iRT will sponsor an exhibit table showcasing its training and quality improvement products.

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About innovation Research & Training
innovation Research & Training (iRT) is a behavioral sciences research company committed to identifying and solving significant real-world problems facing children, families, communities, and organizations. By using evidence-based and culturally sensitive methods, iRT researchers investigate, develop, and evaluate behavioral, educational, psychological, social, and community assessment, prevention and treatment programs and services. iRT’s staff includes experts in basic and applied research in a variety of areas, including substance abuse prevention and treatment, youth mentoring, social and emotional development, mindfulness education, media literacy education, pregnancy prevention and sexual health, child and adolescent mental health, adult and juvenile justice programs, drug courts, drugged driving, tobacco use and underage drinking.  For more information about iRT, visit

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