Today, two million children woke up in California without a caring person there to say, “I hold aspirations for you, I care about you, I love you.” This daily tragedy of isolation for many children can be greatly alleviated through mentoring.
The California Mentor Foundation (CMF) was founded in 1998 to provide a unified, collective voice for California’s youth mentoring programs. CMF focuses on four critical areas essential to the success of each youth mentoring program:
- Building public awareness of mentoring
- Securing financial support for grant making capabilities
- Commissioning research to document the benefits of mentoring programs
- Developing mission-critical tools and training needed to strengthen and expand both regional and local mentoring programs
CMF promotes mentoring as the most effective means of preventing at-risk youth from making poor choices.
"Mentoring comes first, because we know that if society doesn’t provide constructive mentors and role models for kids they are going to find their own on street corners, in gangs or in drug dens.”
- Remarks by General Colin Powell at the 1998 California Mentor Summit hosted by CMF and Disneyland.
The concept of mentoring has taken hold in the daily lives of American citizens, gaining traction in every facet of youth culture, and spreading like a well-knit network to every state in the union and to numerous countries around the globe. The phenomenal growth of mentoring in California over the past decade has been a relatively simple path with periodic wake-up calls. Mentoring is a brilliant idea whose time has come, and it's ready to flourish.