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With January Declared “Mentoring Month,” LA County to Launch New Mentorship Program
By Sentinel News Service
Published January 16, 2018

Following an April 2015 motion by Supervisors Hilda L. Solis and Mark Ridley-Thomas, the County of Los Angeles accepted then President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge (MBK), beginning a comprehensive process to support and engage the next generation of County leaders. In line with this mission, today the Board of Supervisors passed two motions, authored by Supervisor Solis, to provide County employees the opportunity to mentor youth throughout the region and officially proclaim January as “Mentoring Month.”

“The next generation of leaders is gearing up to tackle the nation’s toughest issues, including climate change, immigration, and a 21st Century economy,” said Supervisor Solis. “It is our responsibility to equip our youth with the best resources possible, while sharing with them our guidance, experience, and support. Today is a positive step forward in solidifying the future of our young people, especially those already at-risk.”

Since the April 2015 motion, the County has made great leaps forward in eliminating opportunity gaps and barriers facing youth. Today’s motion continues this strong tradition of supporting County youth, calling for a 60 day report back to develop a plan and implement a timeline for a countywide mentorship program.

Today’s second related motion proclaims January as “Mentoring Month,” highlighting and promoting the importance of mentorship programs. Today, Supervisor Solis also recognized three mentorship agencies at the Board for their efforts to support youth with mentorships: Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters, Spark, and Los Angles Team Mentoring.

“Spark is honored to be recognized by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis during Mentoring Month,” said Sophia Jimenez, Program Director of Spark in LA. “As an organization, we believe every individual can help grow the next generation of difference makers. It is through the commitment and passion of our mentors and supporters that we are helping youth understand, experience, and pursue what’s possible.”

Studies show that students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and are 37% less likely to skip a class. Young adults who face barriers to opportunities but have a mentor are 55% more likely to enroll in college than those who did not have a mentor. In addition to better school attendance and a better chance of going on to higher education, mentored youth maintain more positive attitudes toward school.

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