Bright Future’s Buddy Mentors Program was among the local mentoring programs helping to proclaim January as National Mentoring Month at a recent Eagle County Board of Commissioners meeting. National Mentoring Month is an annual campaign aimed at expanding quality mentoring opportunities, and to connect more of our community’s young people with caring adults.
“Mentoring Month provides an opportunity to shine the light on extraordinary ordinary people, like our Senior Buddies,” said Buddy Mentors Program Manager Janet Casson. “It is a privilege to share and promote the work of our committed mentors and the inspiring youth with whom they work to create memories and meaning.”
Buddy Mentors is celebrating by hosting a “Happiness Sprinkling” in Eagle on January 29. Junior and senior buddies dressed in yellow will spread happiness by holding signs with positive messages, like “You rock.” Happiness Sprinklings began in Anacortes, Washington and have spread throughout the U.S. and worldwide.
Additionally, Buddy Mentors will post on its social media accounts throughout the month, including International Mentoring Day on Wednesday, January 17 and #ThankYourMentor Day on Thursday, January 25. Several junior buddies will share their stories and experiences through photos. The public can join in the conversation on Buddy Mentors’ Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Loaded Joe’s in Avon will also host a “Non-profit Night” on January 25. Ten percent of all proceeds from dinner sales between 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. will benefit Buddy Mentors, and Casson will be on-site to talk about the program.
Research shows that mentors play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible choices, attend and engage in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like drug use, something that Eagle County Commissioner Jill Ryan reiterated before the commissioners’ proclamation.
“Just to thank the members of the audience today for what you do for the youth in our community,” said Ryan. “And we know through the literature that mentoring is an evidence-based strategy that really aids in positive youth development.”
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.