Goodbye 2022, hello 2023! The New Year has arrived, and we’re starting off strong, because January is National Mentoring Month! 

National Mentoring Month is a time to raise awareness of the power of mentoring, grow the mentoring movement, and celebrate supportive and meaningful mentoring relationships. In the spirit of National Mentoring Month, we’re recapping all the awesome things we’ve been doing this program year, and how our activities serve to cultivate strong mentoring relationships and promote positive change.

Following all of the amazing connections made at Camp Launch Weekend, our students and mentors were assigned their official matches during Match Night 2022, where they learned what family group they’d be in and who would be in their family group. Needless to say, it was a night of excitement and lots of smiles! 

CfY’s November Community Workshop centered around building an excellent foundation for healthy mentoring relationships, peer-to-peer relationships, and community-building. Students and mentors opened the night with a boundary activity, in which participants were asked to move around the room to respond to a variety of scenarios. CfY staff members posed statements like “I’m comfortable taking phone calls during the workday” and “I’m okay with someone being late to an activity we planned,” with answers ranging from “Describes Me Fully” to “Doesn’t Describe Me at All.” The activity was a valuable exercise in acknowledging personal boundaries, and in helping program participants get to know one another. Other topics covered that night included self-advocacy and CfY community commitments. 

An important cornerstone of CfY programming is student voice, and this year, we invited our students to choose the topics they’d like to cover over the course of the program year. The first topic chosen by our students this year was mental health, and our January Community Workshop kicked off the new year with important conversations and activities surrounding mental health and the importance of self-care. 

CfY MSW intern Mo Tomassetti opened the evening by sharing their own mental health journey with the CfY community. Mo’s vulnerability and valuable perspective set a tone of openness and de-stigmatization for the evening’s conversations, and helped transition the workshop into a Community Conversations segment in which matches talked about mental health and set intentions for the new year. 

Community for Youth inspires and supports students to be their best selves through mentoring, learning experiences, and a powerful community. The relationships that drive our mission are based in openness, understanding, and conversations that promote positive change, and for our students and mentors, that means destigmatizing mental health discussions, and cultivating self-care and self-advocacy. 

As we close out National Mentoring Month and tackle the remainder of our program year, we encourage you to take the leap if you are not a mentor already, and become a mentor to a young person in your community. CfY is now recruiting mentors for CfY Duos, our flexible introductory program, and will begin recruitment for our primary program, Learning Communities, in June 2023. We have students who would like to work with female mentors of color, trans or nonbinary mentors, and indigenous mentors. For questions and more information about programming, reach out to Yleana Benitez at!

SAVE THE DATE! Community for Youth’s 2023 Aspire Gala is on Saturday, February 25 at Bell Harbor International Conference Center. Join us for a night of fine dining, games, live and silent auctions, and fundraising as we celebrate 36 years of powerful relationships. Click here and register now!

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