Horowitz: President Obama and Stephen Curry Recruit Mentors

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

 

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Aptly timed for the beginning of the NBA playoffs, President Obama and Golden State Warriors Superstar Stephen Curry team up to recruit mentors in a funny short video released last week, featuring the President showing the best shooter in the NBA how to shoot, and Curry schooling the President in  science.  The recruitment video highlights My Brother’s Keeper, the President’s own mentoring program aimed at boys and young men of color ,as well as encourages people to participate in other mentoring programs in their own community.

The video connects people to www.mentor.gov, in which all you need to do is put in your zip code and the background and contact information for mentoring programs in your community are provided.  Among the options listed for the Providence area, for example, are Youth Build Providence, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.  The video can also be viewed on the site.

Too many of our young people face the double whammy of growing up in difficult family situations and not having a mentor--a trusted adult outside the family who they can rely on for “advice and guidance”. Today, 1-in-3 American young people between the ages of 8 and 18 --16 million young people all together—‘are growing up without a mentor, according to United We Serve, the President’s volunteer service initiative. More than half of these young people face the kind of tough day-to-day challenges that put them at risk of dropping out of school and generally failing to stay on track towards a productive adulthood.

The good news, however, is, mentoring can make a big positive difference in the lives of all youth—with even larger dividends for at risk youth.  Students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip school and 46% less likely to start using illegal drugs. And research shows that meeting regularly with a mentor, “reduces depressive symptoms and increases social acceptance, academic attitude and grades. For at risk youth, mentoring significantly boosts aspirations to enroll in and to graduate from college.

In describing the goals of My Brothers Keeper when he launched it more than two years ago, President Obama outlined goals that are applicable to mentoring programs across the board:, “And that’s what “My Brother’s Keeper” is all about -- helping more of our young people stay on track; providing the support they need to think more broadly about their future;  building on what works, when it works, in those critical life-changing moments,”  said the President.
 
The President eloquently summed up the timeless values that underlie mentoring this way; “… recognizing that “my neighbor’s child is my child” -- that each of us has an obligation to give every child the same chance this country gave so many of us."
 
That it is why it is critical that we recruit thousands of new mentors. That is why I am hoping for a truly great response to the clever Obama/Curry video.

 

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Rob Horowitz is a strategic and communications consultant who provides general consulting, public relations, direct mail services and polling for national and state issue organizations, various non-profits and elected officials and candidates. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island
 

 

Related Slideshow: Obama Coming to Newport—Questions for the President from the Community

President Obama will be in Newport today to headline a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) fundraiser at "Seafair" the Newport home of Rick Bready.  GoLocal asked local business and community leaders if they had the opportunity to ask the President one question -- what would it be, and why?

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John Jannotti

"At the undergraduate level, Pell Grants provide financial aid based primarily on need.  At the graduate level, students are often supported by grants based on their area of study.  What is the proper balance between encouraging the study of fields that are economically valuable to the country versus allowing students to choose the best course of study for themselves?"

John Jannotti, Foodler Co-Founder; Brown University Adjunct Assistant Professor

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Alan Shawn Feinstein

"President Obama -- what is your outlook for the future of our country?" 

Alan Shawn Feinstein, Humanitarian & Philanthropist 

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Jorge Elorza

"President Obama, much of the innovative, substantive change happening around the world is being accomplished at the municipal level with mayors leading the way. What can you do to better empower municipalities and build on this momentum?"
 

Jorge Elorza, Democratic Candidate for Mayor of Providence

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Mary Raum, PhD

"In 2011 President Obama signed the executive order for the US National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security. How instrumental are the considerations of WPS in our national military policy to current situations in Syria and the Ukraine? How is the US supporting the directives this order implies?"
 

Dr. Mary Raum, United States Naval War College Professor, National Security Affairs; Chair, Women Peace & Security Initiative

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Michael Rose

"I would love to know what President Obama thinks of Rhode Island's new policy not to tax fine art.  Is that something he sees being implemented at the national level?

Michael Rose, Providence Art Club Gallery Coordinator 

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Didi Lorillard

"How do you propose to challenge, and to get around, the deniers of climate change? Or to convince the people who have allowed self-interest, or fear of losing their livelihoods, that they face losing much more? What steps can be taken to prevent their obstructive tactics? Hasn't this now become the central issue of our times, and of your Presidency?"

Didi Lorillard, Author, Newport Etiquette & Modern Manners

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John Harwood, Jr.

"Egypt, Lybia, and Syria -- is that a success in your administration's eyes?"

John Harwood, Jr., Brown Men's Ice Hockey

 
 

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