“Mentoring transforms the lives of children,” said Governor Granholm. “By strengthening our children through mentoring, we are building a stronger future for them, our communities, and our great state.”
Granholm, along with First Gentleman Daniel G. Mulhern, is leading the Mentor Michigan initiative, a statewide effort to raise awareness about the need for mentors and the benefits associated with mentoring.
By 2006, Mentor Michigan hopes to recruit 10,000 new volunteers for mentoring organizations across the state. As a result of the initiative, said Mulhern, organizations across the state are coming together to encourage people to mentor a child.
Mulhern cited a recent study released by Kahle Research Solutions, Inc. that showed only 34 percent of mentors in Michigan are men. The study also showed that while 56 percent of the mentees are children of color, only 27 percent of the mentors are people of color, a disparity that creates a dilemma for mentoring programs trying to match children with mentors from the same ethnic and gender backgrounds.
As a result of the findings, Mulhern is urging men, particularly men of color, to step forward to mentor children in Michigan .
“Mentoring programs all across the state expressed the desire to put the men back in mentoring,” said Mulhern, who recently hosted regional meetings with mentoring organizations throughout Michigan .
“We’ve learned that many programs are not enrolling boys because there are no mentors available for them and this is a missed opportunity for everyone who stands to benefit from mentoring.”
As part of Mentoring Month, Granholm, Mulhern and former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer are being featured in a televised a public service announcement promoting mentoring.
Additionally, the Michigan Community Service Commission, chaired by Mulhern, has launched the Mentor Michigan website (www.mentormichigan.org) to help future mentors find an available mentoring organization and mentee; organized and convened the Mentor Michigan Providers Council, a coalition of mentoring agencies throughout the state to assist agencies with similar organizational needs; designed a Mentoring Communications Tool Kit to help mentoring agencies spread the word about mentoring; and enlisted the Michigan Community Service Commissioners to speak about mentoring to their corporations, unions, communities and agencies.
To find a place to mentor, call 1-800-VOLUNTEER or visit the Mentor Michigan web site at www.mentormichigan.org.
Mentor Michigan is managed by the Michigan Community Service Commission, a state agency that builds a culture of service by providing vision and resources to strengthen communities through volunteerism. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/mcsc or call (517) 335-4295 .