The Governor's Mentoring Initiative, in keeping with the state's pledge to America's Promise, helps students excel in school and life by recruiting Floridians to become mentors. The initiative, which began in 1999, promotes collaboration among state agencies, municipalities, businesses, nonprofit organizations, individuals and schools.
Our goal, with your help, is to recruit 200,000 mentors. As of January 2004, that number was 186,000 and rising. It is a 38 percent increase over last year.
Florida's commitment is tremendous. The latest study by the National Mentoring Partnership shows that 10 percent of all mentoring programs engaged throughout the country today are in Florida. Under the leadership of Governor Jeb Bush, Florida gives $12.5 million annually for mentoring program development and training. Those funds are leveraged with corporate donations of time, materials and additional funding.
Mentoring changes lives. Statistics show that a young person who meets with a mentor is:
- 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
- 27% less likely to begin drinking alcohol
- 52% less likely to skip school
- 33% less likely to engage in a fight
Mentoring can, and should, be a long-term commitment to Florida’s children. Results of the latest phase of our research in Florida shows that mentored students have marked learning gains and are enrolling in continuing education at higher rates than non-mentored students.
Additionally, Florida's fourth-grade students posted the greatest gains in reading of all students in the nation last school year. We believe that mentoring played an integral role in their success.
Be a mentor. Be a big help.