NYC PS & You: Mentoring Matters – 06/14/2024

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Mentoring Matters

Dear New Yorkers,

There’s a saying that goes: a young person without a mentor is like an explorer without a map.

Last month, we held our inaugural Key Awards, which celebrated the mentors in our schools who provide roadmaps to our students, encouraging them to dream big and fulfill their potential. These mentors include educators, community members, business leaders, and employees from city agencies such as the Department of Youth and Community Development.

We also honored the students who have seized this opportunity and made impressive strides in their educational journeys under the guidance of their mentors. These students hail from 34 schools across the five boroughs, including many schools participating in Project PIVOT, one of our signature safety initiatives. Project PIVOT pairs schools with local organizations with deep roots in their communities to provide social-emotional support to students and lead violence prevention efforts.

At the event, I spoke to these mentors and mentees, along with approximately 1,400 guests, about the power of mentorship. I stressed that mentors open up new possibilities and life paths. After all, as Marian Wright Edelman once said, “You can’t be what you can’t see.”

Yet it doesn’t take a formal program or an award ceremony to be a mentor. Families and staff: you already serve as mentors to the young people in your lives. They look up to you and draw inspiration from you. As we prepare for summer break, I encourage you to think about the ways you can continue to show up as mentors for our students, especially when they’re not spending their days in school. Mentorship is a 24/7 role, and it’s a critical one. When we provide our students with a roadmap through the twists and turns of life, we set them up for bright starts and bold futures.

Soaring high,

David C. Banks


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