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MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and The Corporation for National & Community Service to Honor Corporate Mentoring Champions

AT&T, First Niagara Bank, Comcast NBCUniversal and Webster Bank to Receive National Recognition

Submitted by: MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions, Volunteerism

Posted: Jan 20, 2015 – 04:54 PM EST


WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 20 /CSRwire/ - On January 29, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) will recognize eight corporations for their outstanding contributions to advancing quality mentoring opportunities for youth and participation in the Corporate Mentoring Challenge. AT&T, First Niagara Bank, Comcast NBCUniversal and Webster Bank will receive special recognition during the 2015 National Mentoring Summit.

The Corporate Mentoring Challenge, originally launched by First Lady Michelle Obama at the 2011 National Mentoring Summit, is open annually to private-sector companies of any size that pledge to begin supporting youth mentoring in the U.S. in the coming year, expand an existing initiative or renew a commitment. Companies currently engaged in youth mentoring are considered for special recognition through the Challenge.

“The Corporate Mentoring Challenge is a unique opportunity for the private sector to engage in and demonstrate investments in mentoring as a key strategy to connect young people to social and economic opportunity and strengthen families, schools, businesses and communities,” said David Shapiro, President and CEO of MENTOR. “The Challenge elevates corporate leaders who are innovatively leveraging human and financial capital to drive positive outcomes for our nation’s youth through mentoring.”

The following companies will receive special recognition in the following categories based on an independent review panel of judges: 

  • Innovation Award in Quality Youth Mentoring: AT&T

  • Exceptional Partnership in Quality Youth Mentoring: First Niagara Bank

  • Excellence and Commitment to Quality Youth Mentoring (National): Comcast NBCUniversal

  • Excellence and Commitment to Quality Youth Mentoring (Local): Webster Bank

"Our nation’s success depends on helping all children succeed and reach their full potential in life,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “These businesses are doing their part to ensure our young people learn to reach just a little higher. I want to thank all the Corporate Mentoring Challenge participants for their commitment to mentoring. By engaging your employees to mentor youth, you not only demonstrate good citizenship -- you help to prepare the next generation of responsible, engaged employees for your companies.”

AT&T’s Aspire Mentoring Academy is the flagship employee engagement program of AT&T Aspire, AT&T’s signature education initiative focused on high school success and workforce readiness.  Aspire Mentoring Academy connects students with AT&T employees to share valuable knowledge, life skills and career advice.  AT&T has set a goal for employees to provide 1 million hours of mentoring to students at risk of dropping out of high school through the end of 2016. Since the program’s launch, students have benefited from over 632,780 hours of mentoring.

“A caring adult can make all the difference in a student’s life and we need more individuals to fill that important mentoring role,” said Jason Leiker, AT&T Assistant Vice President of Community Engagement. “Through Aspire Mentoring Academy, our company’s greatest asset – our people –work directly with students to help inspire them to achieve their full potential.”

Since its inception in 2007, First Niagara Bank has provided more than $6.25 million in financial support and thousands of hours of employee volunteer time through the Mentoring Matters program. In 2014, First Niagara selectively awarded $1 million to 39 impactful organizations through the 2014 Mentoring Matters grant program directly impacting 39,000 young people.

“We are honored to receive this recognition and are proud to support Mentor and its partner organizations,” said Elizabeth Gurney, Executive Director of First Niagara Foundation. “For us, mentoring and the potential impact that mentoring initiatives and mentoring role models can have on young people was a worthy goal,  a pressing need in the areas in which we do business and a terrific opportunity for employee involvement in all the communities we serve.”

Since 2008, Comcast NBCUniversal has invested nearly $60 million in cash and in-kind support to change children’s lives by supporting one-to-one youth mentoring. Their signature effort, Beyond School Walls, is the nation’s most expansive workplace mentoring program in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Through Beyond School Walls, Comcast NBCUniversal matches more than 300 at-risk students with Comcast employees to meet throughout the school year at 15 Comcast offices nationwide. Data shows that Beyond School Walls “Littles” have better grades, are less likely to skip school and are more likely to graduate.

“We are incredibly humbled to receive this recognition. It is a testament to the dedication of Comcast NBCUniversal employees who bring mentoring to life in our workplace,” said Fred Maahs, Director of National Partnerships at Comcast Corporation and Vice President of the Comcast Foundation. "We believe our investment in mentoring builds tomorrow’s leaders, and we are proud to partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America to help change outcomes for youth across the country.”

Webster Bank’s mentoring program, established in 2002, supports youth mentoring through a strong employee-led effort in which over 110 employees give their time to mentor on a weekly basis. Employees are recruited and trained throughout the school year and matched with school children who they meet with for one-hour per week on company paid-time. Webster also supports an array of organizations that provide mentoring-based programs as a part of their youth services.

“Webster Bank is pleased to receive this national recognition,” said Kathryn Luria, Senior Vice President of Community Affairs of Webster Bank. “It validates our core values and how we strive to live up to our communities each and every day. Our program is a homegrown effort that has been cultivated over the years by listening to each other and responding to the needs of the children in our schools across the footprint. Every one of our more than one hundred mentors know this matters most and are to be celebrated for their role in this recognition.”

All corporate champions that entered or pledged in the Corporate Mentoring Challenge will be recognized for their leadership in advancing support and opportunities for young people through mentoring during the 2015 National Mentoring Summit.

.       Amdocs Inc.
.       AT&T
.       Comcast NBCUniversal
.       ExxonMobil
.       First Niagara Bank
.       Genentech, Inc.
.       Travelers Insurance
.       Webster Bank

The National Mentoring Summit, convened by MENTOR, is the only national forum that brings together practitioners, researchers, corporate partners, government and civic leaders, national youth-serving organizations and the network of affiliate Mentoring Partnerships to explore and advance mentoring’s positive impact on individuals and communities. In 2015, MENTOR will celebrate a quarter of a century of intentional focus on building a movement to connect all young people with caring adults through safe and effective mentoring relationships.



MENTOR is the unifying champion for quality youth mentoring in the United States. MENTOR’s mission is to close the “mentoring gap” and ensure our nation’s young people have the support they need through quality mentoring relationships to succeed at home, school, and ultimately, work. To achieve this, MENTOR collaborates with its Mentoring Partnership Network and works to drive the investment of time and money into high impact mentoring programs and advance quality mentoring through the development and delivery of standards, cutting-edge research and state-of-the-art tools.

Contact: Jennifer Merrill, Development & Communications Manager | 617.303.4612| jmerrill@mentoring.org


About CNCS

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.

CNCS: Samantha Jo Warfield | 202-606-6775 | sjwarfield@cns.gov

For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Merrill Development & Communications Manager
Phone: 617-303-4612
Diane Quest Senior Director, External Affairs
Phone: 617-303-4609

For more from this organization:

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership


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