Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love
can do that.
This quote by Martin Luther King Jr. remains as relevant today as it did 60years
ago. The National Mentoring Month was started in 2002 by the National Mentoring Partnership
& Harvard TH School of Public Health to raise awareness about the importance of mentoring in
the lives of people and, thereby, inspiring more people to volunteer for this project.

Life throws curve balls at everyone and having a guide can prepare one for the challenging
events ahead and sometimes this advantage makes all the difference between success and
failure. The American Air Force, Space Force, Fortune 500 companies, prominent nonprofit
organizations, and several government officials, including U.S. Presidents mark this day for
giving back to their communities and in the process learn more from them.

Mentoring Month, as the name suggests, runs through the whole month of January and
comprises three special days to commemorate this initiative. It also has a weekly plan which
includes programs by AmeriCorps and the final culmination of the National Mentoring Summit
(register here).

The three important days are-

January 6 – I am a Mentor Day
On this day mentors inspire their students with words of Dr. M.L.K. Jr. and recruit others to lend
a helping hand.

January 17 – International Mentoring Day and Dr. MLK Day of Service
The movement is promoted widely to gain global traction. The aim is to expand the universal
knowledge pool and reach out to more people. On the third Monday of January, USA observes a
federal holiday to honor Martin Luther King Jr’s. birthday. Dr. MLK was the chief spokesperson for
nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement against racial discrimination.

January 27 – Thank Your Mentor Day
On this day students show their gratitude towards their mentors and this program by using
hashtags #ThankYourMentor, #MentoringAmplifies, and #MentoringMonth.

Built on the pillars of clarity, communication and commitment, young persons who are
vulnerable due to their lack of exposure to practical issues in life and are dependent upon an
experienced guide, are helped and inspired to transform their current state of living.

On the other hand, mentors, too, gain immensely. Besides earning the goodwill of the
community and experiencing the joy of sharing, they get to polish their presentation skills,
people skills and increase their emotional intelligence.

The benefits of mentoring have been studied and are documented on the MENTOR website.
The statistics are more than just encouraging, they also give hope for the well-being of the
entire community. Students who receive tips for an all-round development, boost their personal
growth, social skills and economic prospects with their participation.

It is noted that those who meet regularly with their mentors are 55% less likely to skip a day of
school and hold a 130% chance to be in leadership positions in future. Similarly chances of
enrolling in college after a gap, or coming clean after drugs/ alcohol abuse greatly increases
with participation in such a program. With renewed energy, members often find themselves
signing up for sports or extracurricular activities to balance their lives.

This two-fold reaction of decreasing the influence of negative elements in life and making
room for positive experiences has seen a significant reduction in the levels of depression
which in most cases was toxic.

The American Declaration of Rights says that all men are born free and equal, in dignity and
in rights. They should conduct themselves as brothers one to another. The essence of this
provision is rendered tangible for the common man thanks to organized efforts like the
National Mentoring Month. They go one step further to ensure equality by empowering every
individual with equal opportunities to develop themselves and realize their maximum potential.

In 2022 the need for such a resource was never this dire. With the ‘great resignation’, remote
education and working, lack of avenues for socializing and networking, chronic stress levels of
caregivers, teachers and workers, women forced to choose between childcare and employment,
such a program that endeavors to mobilize information and knowledge that can be applied in
real time, adds value that is beyond a one-time volunteer service.

Join here to become a member, to advocate and donate.