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Corps Member Monday: National Mentoring Month

January 27, 2014

by Lanise Harris, corps member proudly serving on the Capital Area United Way Team at Belaire High School

It is said that a mentor is simply someone who can make your hindsight become your foresight. Mentors assure positive outcomes for our young people, they are individuals who encourage and guide the youth. A mentor is an experienced and trusted adviser.  This January, City Year Baton Rouge is celebrating National Mentoring Month.

January 16, “Thank Your Mentor Day,” was a day many Americans reached out to thank the individuals who guided them, and had a lasting, positive impact on their lives.

Arquavious Gordon, a team leader from Sunflower, MS met his mentor in 2005 in his freshmen biology class. “Mrs. Woo-Chow was the only teacher who challenged me to do anything above and beyond and not to be complacent or take what was simply given to me,” said Gordon. Woo-Chow was known to be “that teacher” who yelled, but she was honest, kept things real and told it how it was. “To this day, I can still call on her to just talk or ask for advice,” he said.

The Harvard School of Public Health created national Mentoring Month in 2002. “The movement focuses national attention on the need for mentors, as well as how each of us—individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities and nonprofits—can work together to increase the number of mentors to assure positive outcomes for our young people,” taken from

NMM celebrates mentoring and the positive effect it can have on young lives. Its goals are to:

  • Raise awareness of mentoring in its various forms.
  • Recruit individuals to mentor, especially in programs that have waiting lists of young people.
  • Promote the rapid growth of mentoring by recruiting organizations to engage their constituents in mentoring.

Diliesha Bryant, a corps member from Chipley, FL was a mentor in college, which was a requirement of the “Take Stock in Children” scholarship he received. Bryant mentored a Godby High School senior, in Tallahassee, FL from 2011 to 2012. He and the student met once per week to discuss academics, homecoming and anything relevant to the student’s life at the time. “It felt good to give back to the community and it reminded me of my high school days when someone mentored me,” said Bryant.


Heidi Henry, Diplomas Now Site Coordinator, and Diliesha Bryant, corps member, mentor students during a report card conference at Belaire High School.


“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” – John C. Crosby

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