National Mentoring Month Initiative - NBC40.net

National Mentoring Month Initiative

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ATLANTIC CITY - “Be someone who matters to someone who matters”...be a mentor - that's the message from the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City.

"Kids they need someone to look up too now-a-days," said Devin Brown-Velez, Boys & Girls Club Atlantic City teen.

"Because everybody don't got that figure in their life or someone they can depend on or come to talk to, they don't have that in their life," explains Yhree Horton, Boys & Girls Club Atlantic City teen.

President Barack Obama proclaimed January 2014 national mentoring month to celebrate everyone that teaches, inspires and guides young adults.

"It's an important initiative; I think our president and all our politicians both locally, at the state level and nationally understands the importance of good mentors and understand the importance of giving back to the community and investing in the lives of our kids who are our most valuable assets," expressed Mekos Denson, C.P.O., Executive Director of Boys & Girls Club Atlantic City.

Teen Director of the Atlantic City Boys & Girls Club Tracy Parker said “I mentor a lot of kids and I know that it takes more that just a parent to raise a kid so mentoring is definitely a must when we're dealing with so much going on in our neighborhood and around us."

The Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City held several activities throughout the month to celebrate the national mentoring initiative.

"We just closed out with our keystone service project; we did a lot of voter registration things, and things targeting Martin Luther King Jr. with his birthday just passing,” said Parker.

Denson expressed why the need for mentoring in Atlantic City "Well our demographic we serve, 61% of our kids come from single parent homes and that's significant, 19% are raised by someone other than their biological parent, so as you look at those numbers, which are staggering it's important that we provide them with that mentorship, caring adult professional, to bridge the gap and stop that vicious cycle…What we need is strong leaders; we need more volunteers to serve and meet the needs of every child that comes through our doors."

Besides cultivating the youth, national mentoring month focuses on engaging more community members to volunteer as mentors.

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