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Dear Friends —

2018 is in the books and I can say is WOW! Wow, sort of sums up the feelings I have about the year, but it also falls well short of fully describing the energy, enthusiasm, excitement, passion and commitment I have personally felt from each person we’ve come in contact with this year who considers themselves a mentoring advocate. From program leaders to young people to mentors to school leaders, legislators, funders and everyone in between, the mentoring field and its stakeholders continues to grow in order to meet the diverse needs, hopes and desires of each and every young person throughout Maryland.

But in order to fully meet the needs of our young people and support them in becoming healthy, happy and engaged adults we must not just grow the field in terms of sheer numbers but must do so with the spirit of partnership, collaboration and deepening existing relationships. 

I’ve long been a subscriber of the old saying, “rules before relationships breeds rebellion,”as a constant reminder to put the relationship first when engaging with our young people. The interesting thing is that this saying holds just as true when adults are building relationships with each. If ANYTHING comes before taking the time to build a relationship — one that aligns with our personal values, morals and beliefs — we will individually never be able to accomplish all that we could with great relationships.

I hope this year has been one of your best. If not, I hope and pray you find the courage, understanding and vision to make it so in 2019. We appreciate each and every one of you and look forward to building strong relationships and partnerships in 2019.

In service,

#10- MOST/MENTOR State Advocacy Day in Annapolis
Getting a chance to host several youth development organizations (OST and mentoring) at our State House in Annapolis was amazing! For many of the young people who were there, it was their first time in Annapolis! Several legislators participated and were overwhelmed by the excitement and energy of the young leaders present. We need everyone to get on board for our youth!
#9- Maryland MENTOR’s participation in Global iWomenLead Conference Symposium
#8- Forming Maryland MENTOR Board of Directors
The success of any non-profit or service-oriented organization is largely dependent on not just the Executive Director, but also on the leadership of the Board of Directors that support that Director and organization. We at Maryland MENTOR are excited to call our Board of Directors the best ever! Please read more about them and all they bring to the table here!
Read About Our Board Members
#7- Leading the Pilot of the National Mentoring Project in Baltimore!
Maryland MENTOR and Baltimore City were selected to participate in a national pilot partnership initiative to provide additional support, training and resources for opportunity youth, in the form of the National Mentoring Project. A collaboration of the National Mentoring Partnership, Center for Promise and fully funded through the Schultz Family Foundation, Maryland MENTOR recruited three dymanic youth case management/workforce readiness partners — Urban Alliance Baltimore, Center for Urban Families and HEBCAC — and trained 50 opportunity along with recruiting and training 50 community based mentors for the first phase of the initiative. Through administering several highly engaging trainings, all 50 opportunity youth were matched with 50 awesome community-based mentors to support the young people on their journey to becoming employed and retained. This project was a true example of the type partnership that is the future and one that it is innovative enough to meet our young people where they are and still be highly impactful.
#6- Facilitating the Mentoring Matters: Expanding Social Capital for Foster Youth Congressional Briefing
This Congressional Briefing explored the impact mentoring relationships can have on expanding social capital for youth involved in the foster care system and highlights examples from organizations that are leading in this effort while providing policymakers with the tools they need to support them. This briefing was also facilitated by our own Executive Director, Sadiq Ali.
Watch the Panel
#5- Baltimore City Mentor Recruitment Fair
As part of our ongoing commitment to supporting programs through all their phases, we hosted our first Baltimore City Mentor Recruitment Fair at OpenWorks in Baltimore City. With almost 20 different mentoring programs and organizations present, they engaged with several potential volunteers and even had young people present to speak about the programs!
#4- Upholding the Covenant: The State of Mentoring in Maryland 2018
Directly based on the findings from our Listening Tour, Maryland MENTOR was excited to release Upholding the Covenant: The State of Mentoring in Maryland 2018 report this past Fall. Truly the most comprehensive look at community-based mentoring work happening in Maryland, Upholding the Covenant gives great insight as well as actionable steps those advocates of mentoring can take to further empower and strengthen the field. To invest in mentoring is to invest in our young people. Click to download and read the report.
Read the Report!
Want to know our top 3 moments of 2018?
Click Here!

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