GREENSBORO, NC -- January is National Mentoring Month and the City of Greensboro and United Way of Greater Greensboro want you to get involved. Traci McLemore with the United Way and Greensboro Police Department's Deputy Police Chief Brian James joined Tracey McCain on the Good Morning Show to talk about what's going on.

The City is partnering with United Way's African-American Male Initiative to provide mentors for our African-American, Hispanic and other male students, under the MBK model. Mentoring starts in grades 2nd - 5th at Wiley Elementary, 6th - 8th at Jackson Middle and 9th grade at Smith High School. Approximately 140 boys are eligible to participate in the program between the three schools.

Some people may say, I'm too busy to be a mentor. Deputy Cheek James is a police officer and a mentor. So he shared how he works in into his schedule and some of the benefits he's seen from mentoring.

Mentoring has proven to have a positive effect on academic, social, and economic outcomes for our young people. Research shows mentors can play a powerful role in providing youngsters with the tools to make responsible choices, attend and excel in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like gang activity or drug use.

Mentoring relationships are at their best when connections are made between a caring adult and a young person who knows that someone is there to help guide them through those real life decisions. Other important Mentoring month days:

January 12: “I Am a Mentor Day”
A day for volunteer mentors to celebrate their role and reflect on the ways mentees have enhanced their world and share their stories about being a mentor on social media using
#MentorIRL.

January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
A day to share in the inspirational words of MLK, Jr., and elevate the spirit of service through volunteerism.

January 17: International Mentoring Day
A day of international conversations on social media where photos, video and messages to share powerful mentoring stories.

January 19: “Thank Your Mentor Day”
A day for all who have real life mentoring experiences to thank those who helped them on their path to adulthood and beyond when we encourage anyone who has had a mentor to say thank you by sending a note, a card or sharing a story on social media using #MentorIRL.

To learn more about the role mentoring plays in our community and to find volunteer opportunities, click here.

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