CINCINNATI- February 2014 – In his recent State of the State address, Governor John Kasich recognized the importance of mentoring in building strong communities and improving the quality of lives for local children and families. Emphasizing that the best way to create robust community mentoring programs is by building connections with businesses, schools, students, parents and community organizations, Kasich recognized Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, a Cincinnati-based non-profit organization that has partnered with Cincinnati Public Schools for more than 30 years, for its achievements in empowering at-risk students to graduate high school and succeed in college, career and military.
A new initiative proposed by Governor Kasich, Community Connectors, will support the collaboration of schools, parents, communities, community organizations, students, and business leaders in creating solid mentoring programs. If passed by the Ohio Legislature, the initiative will be paid for through casino profits and will give communities a $3 match for every dollar they invest in building mentoring programs.
Governor Kasich stated: “If we do this right and do a better job of connecting our communities, think about this. Our businesses, our schools, our parents, the faith-based institutions, everybody that surrounds our schoolhouses and our children, it’s going to lift up our educators; it will lift up our kids. We can show them why learning matters. We can teach them about workplace culture. It’s important. We can teach them about professional etiquette. We can help them appreciate how important values are to success and life. Values like hard work, discipline, and personal responsibility, all of which could help motivate and inspire our children to find their purpose and reach for the stars. This is working in many places around Ohio, but we don’t see enough of it. If you think of Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, 96% of those kids graduate, go on to college, the military, or a job.”
Leaders of Cincinnati Youth Collaborative and Cincinnati Public Schools expressed pride in their long partnership with local businesses, organizations and individuals, all of which positively impact at-risk kids. Cincinnati Youth Collaborative’s mentoring program, one of three critical programs at CYC, was founded in 1987. Through this program, Cincinnati Public School students are matched with a mentor in order to ensure that youth reach their full potential. This program is especially effective, as it focuses on the academic as well as the social and emotional needs of kids in Cincinnati.
Jane Keller, President and CEO of Cincinnati Youth Collaborative stated, “Our organization was founded on partnerships between Cincinnati companies, individuals, and schools. These partnerships have made us strong and have allowed us to create pathways to success for vulnerable students for the past three decades. We are very proud of our three-decade collaboration with schools, businesses and individual volunteers, and we are witnesses to the proven results of collaboration.”
“We know that mentoring changes lives,” said CPS Superintendent Mary Ronan. “The statistics are impressive, but equally powerful are the real-life stories of children who have become successful adults because of mentoring relationships.”