On the morning of January 17th, Massachusetts faced several snow storm warnings, yet youth-serving programs, legislators, and young people alike braved the snow and convened at the MA State House for the 12th annual Youth Mentoring Day. As part of National Mentoring Month, MMP and the Highland Street AmeriCorps Ambassadors of Mentoring hosted the event to elevate and celebrate the youth voice.
We were joined by several legislative Champions of Mentoring, program staff and youth from programs across the state. From getting to hear from young women on what mentoring relationships have enabled them to do and pursue to a riveting call to action from State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, the theme of the morning resonated with everyone.
To wrap-up a great National Mentoring Month, we’ve recapped some of our favorite highlights from Youth Mentoring Day: Youth thrive when their voice matters in their mentoring relationships, at school, and in their communities.
Representative Evandro Carvalho (5th Suffolk District) urged the need for mentors in our communities and shared his story.
“I’ve had mentors all of my life...
We need mentors.
They are critical to our work.”
You can catch his full speech here.
We had the honor of hearing from young women and program staff speaking on behalf of youth to share the empowering impact of mentoring relationships and how that’s supported their participation in the community.
Watch their full speeches here.
State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry (1st Suffolk District) and Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez (15th Suffolk/Norfolk District) offered a call to action for everyone and shared their personal stories and how mentoring has influenced their roles as legislators.
“We work collaboratively in the Commonwealth as legislators... We are in an unprecedented time.
We have to react and speak up every time.
Young people, if you don’t understand something in school: Speak up.”
- State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry
At the end of the program, youth-serving program staff, young people headed to the offices of legislators to advocate for the critical need to invest in youth for their success in academics, to build resilient communities across the Commonwealth and to thrive in life.
Catch all of the day's tweets below!
You can still advocate to invest in youth across the state
The Mentoring Matching Grants line item (7061-9634) is a statewide, competitive grant program designed to create and support mentoring matches, and the only state funding dedicated to mentoring. Created in 1999, the line item leverages private funding through a dollar-for-dollar match requirement and is administered by Mass Mentoring Partnership. Over the last 17 years, this investment has supported over 10,000 mentor matches and achieved many positive outcomes for youth, such as improved attitude towards school and classroom behavior, increases in self confidence, self efficacy and positive attitude about the future. Governor Baker released his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2019 on Wednesday, January 24th, funding the Mentoring Matching Grant (MMG) line item at $475,000. While it's common for Governor Baker to level-fund line items from the previous fiscal year, this is only the first draft of the FY19 Budget and the Budget will go through many more revisions. From this starting point, it's critical that we collectively advocate for increases in the House and Senate budgets to ensure we see an increase in the FY19 final budget.
Your advocacy can help raise funding for youth across the Commonwealth! Learn more and contact your legislator!
Photography by Romana Vysatova