Governor Declares January National Mentoring Month in Iowa

Governor Branstad made an official proclamation declaring January as Mentoring Month in Iowa. January 2017 marks the 16th annual National Mentoring Month, and the Iowa Mentoring Partnership (IMP) is driving this campaign aimed at expanding quality mentoring opportunities to connect more of our communities’ young people with caring adults.

“There is a powerful mentoring effect demonstrated by research and the experiences of young people who are connected to a mentor in real life” said IMP Director Mary Sheka, “Mentoring is linked to improved academic, social, and economic prospects for young people that ultimately strengthens our communities.”

Research has shown that when matched through a quality mentoring program, mentors can play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible decisions, stay focused and engaged in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like skipping school, drug use and other negative activities. Today, in Iowa, over 8,000 mentors serve youth in programs certified by the Iowa Mentoring Partnership. However, thousands more Iowa youth could benefit from having a mentor.

“Supporting youth mentoring is something Lt. Governor Reynolds and I have been passionate about throughout our careers,” said Governor Terry E. Branstad.  “I am pleased to have an opportunity to help raise awareness of the benefits of quality mentoring, as well as the need for additional mentors to help our young people succeed, by declaring January as Mentoring Month in Iowa.”


Important dates for this public awareness campaign include:

  • January 5, 2017 at 2pm: Proclamation Signing, when Governor Branstad will make an official proclamation declaring January as Mentoring Month in Iowa.
  • January 12, 2017: “I Am a Mentor Day,” when volunteers across our community and the country will share their stories about being a mentor on social media using #MentorIRL.
  • January 16, 2017: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, when our nation will shine a spotlight on volunteerism and inspire people seeking service opportunities.
  • January 19, 2017: “Thank Your Mentor Day,” when we encourage anyone who has had a mentor to say thank you by sending a note, a card or sharing a story on social media.


About Iowa Mentoring Partnership

The Iowa Mentoring Partnership (IMP) serves as the certifying body for youth mentoring programs in Iowa, advancing the quality of the mentoring field by providing professional development; engaging stakeholders to increase the number of mentors; and creating awareness of the positive benefits of youth mentoring as a proven youth development strategy. IMP is a collaborative program of Volunteer Iowa and works to build relationships between government, private, and public agencies in support of youth mentoring which is essential for strengthening families, communities and the state of Iowa. More information is available at


About Volunteer Iowa (or Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service)

Volunteer Iowa and its partner agencies work with organizations and individuals on three main fronts. The first is to help agencies develop quality programs that use service as a strategy to fulfill their missions and address Iowa’s greatest areas of need. The second is to help engage Iowans in their communities by promoting service and expanding the volunteer base. Finally, the third area of work is to connect individuals with appropriate service opportunities by building the volunteer infrastructure. More information is available at


About MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership

National Mentoring Month is led by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, with support from the Highland Street Foundation. Each year since its launch in 2002, National Mentoring Month has enjoyed the strong support of the president and the United States Congress. Other prominent individuals who have participated in the campaign include: Maya Angelou, former President Bill Clinton, Clint Eastwood, Quincy Jones, Cal Ripken Jr., Bill Russell and Usher. More information is available at

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