Press Releases

2007 Releases

General Colin L. Powell to Headline National Mentoring Month 2008

Powell to be Joined by Maya Angelou, Clint Eastwood, Quincy Jones, Sting and Usher 

For immediate release: September 5, 2007 

BOSTON, MA -- General Colin L. Powell will headline the 7th Annual National Mentoring Month (NMM) campaign scheduled for January 2008, the Harvard School of Public Health announced today.  The campaign's goal is to recruit volunteer mentors to help young people achieve their full potential.  The campaign's theme is "Share What You Know.  Mentor a Child."

National Mentoring Month is spearheaded by the Harvard Mentoring Project of the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.  Sponsors include MetLife Foundation, The Curtis L. Carlson Family Foundation, and The MCJ Foundation.  Media partners include: ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC; Comcast; National Association of Broadcasters; Time Warner; and Viacom.

General Powell will appear in public service announcements (PSAs) on television and radio to promote the recruitment of volunteer mentors. His message will focus on the importance of mentoring, and the benefits to the mentor as well as the child.  Ten years ago, prior to his term as U.S. Secretary of State, General Powell founded the America's Promise Alliance, the nation's largest multi-sector collaborative dedicated to the well-being of children and youth; his wife, Alma Powell, is the organization's current Chair.

In another highlight, Grammy Award-winning R&B recording artist Usher and music icon Quincy Jones will be featured in campaign PSAs. Usher will talk about the influence of Quincy Jones as his mentor, and they will appear together in one PSA. Another spot will showcase how Usher's New Look Foundation is "passing it on" to the next generation through Camp New Look, a summer camp for teenagers that teaches business skills for pursuing careers in entertainment and sports. And, a PSA featuring Quincy Jones will challenge older Baby Boomers to "Share what you know.  Become a mentor."

By popular demand, the campaign also will re-issue PSAs from last January featuring Maya Angelou, Clint Eastwood, Victoria Rowell, and Sting.

Participants in the National Mentoring Month include leading nonprofit organizations and numerous governors and mayors.  In communities across the country, designated nonprofit and governmental agencies are responsible for coordinating local campaign activities, including media outreach and volunteer recruitment. These local lead partners include state and local affiliates of MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, Corporation for National and Community Service, Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network, America's Promise Alliance, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Communities in Schools, and United Way of America.

MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, the national advocate and resource for mentoring, has scheduled a new series of PSAs to launch in January 2008 in support of National Mentoring Month and continue throughout the year. The PSAs are contemporary, colorful, with a direct call to action.  They feature well-known actors, athletes, and other celebrities in support of mentoring.  Go to www.mentoring.org for more details on its PSA campaign or for more details on volunteering as a mentor.

On January 21, the National Mentoring Month campaign will join in celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, which is spearheaded nationally by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Thank Your Mentor DayTM   will be celebrated on Thursday, January 24.  On that day, many Americans will reach out to thank or honor those individuals who encouraged and guided them, and had a lasting impact on their lives.  Thank Your Mentor DayTM  promotes "Four Ways to Honor Your Mentor: 1) contact your mentor directly to express your appreciation; 2) "pass it on" by becoming a mentor to a young person in your community; 3) make a financial contribution to a local mentoring program; and, 4)    write a tribute to your mentor for posting on  the campaign's Web site.

Additional information about National Mentoring Month is available at www.WhoMentoredYou.org.

Thank Your Mentor DayTM is a trademarked initiative of the Harvard School of Public Health.

For more information, contact:

Anne Poling

617-432-1038