Governor Reynolds Proclaims January National Mentoring Month in Iowa


January 15, 2021

Contact: Betsy Shelton
Volunteer Iowa
515.348.6228 / 800.308.5987

Governor Reynolds Proclaims January National Mentoring Month in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa – Today, Governor Kim Reynolds declared January 2021 National Mentoring Month in Iowa to coincide with nationwide efforts during the annual National Mentoring Month.

This proclamation recognizes the fact that every day quality mentoring programs in Iowa connect mentors to our young people and cultivate relationships that provide crucial support and guidance as these young people grow and develop into our next generation of leaders.

Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Yet one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset.

Young people who face risk factors, but who have a mentor are 55% more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor, 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities and more than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.

National Mentoring Month in Iowa gives us the opportunity to highlight mentoring programs that produce these positive benefits, and to focus on strategies to grow their capacity to ensure every young person has a mentor.

Future Ready Iowa’s Mentoring program is helping Iowans achieve both college and career goals. Through this unique mentoring experience, Future Ready Iowa Grant and Last-Dollar Scholarship recipients have the opportunity to connect with college success coaches, in addition to mentors in the workforce.

“Mentoring programs have leveraged National Mentoring Month as an opportunity to not only raise awareness but to get their communities engaged in this effort to provide a critical support to our young people,” said Mary Sheka, Director of the Iowa Mentoring Partnership. ‘It’s only with this level of commitment and involvement that we can ensure every young person has the supportive relationships they need to grow and develop into thriving, productive and engaged adults.”

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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