I attended my first MENTOR Summit last week in Washington, DC. Hundreds of other individuals did, too, and there were many organizations and companies represented that serve the mentoring community. Mentoring is a huge industry! And it is clear why: Youth with mentors are more likely to be successful in school, more likely to go to and graduate from college, more likely to be leaders in their communities, and more likely to enter into young adulthood with opportunities for ongoing education and career choices.

America needs mentors.

That’s why the business community is increasingly engaging itself in youth mentoring. When I spoke at the Gloucester (NJ) Chamber of Commerce last month, a lot of interest was generated in Give Something Back by chamber members who want to mentor and who see the incredible value of it — doing good is also good for business.

Among the benefits of investing in a corporate mentoring program:

  • Fosters engagement, morale and retention among employees
  • Cultivates a more skilled, loyal future workforce
  • Gains access to a new pipeline of local talent
  • Increases productivity
  • Boosts workforce diversity
  • Increases visibility with the community, consumers, future leaders and potential talent
  • Enhances management experience for employees
  • Gets products and services in front of consumers

It’s also important to note that individuals, particularly millennials, want to work for companies invested in social good. Businesses are often evaluated as much on corporate social responsibility as they are on the quality of their products. I learned this quickly during my years as CEO of Heartland Payment Systems.

At Give Something Back, one of our goals is to partner with businesses in the communities we serve to build corporate mentoring programs for our current and future scholars. We are thrilled that Bank of America, a longtime supporter of the National Mentoring Partnership, has recently expressed interest in having some local branches partner with us for corporate mentoring. Employees from J.P. Morgan have already reached out and are volunteering to serve as mentors for our organization. They are precisely the candidates we are looking for — college educated, caring individuals who are committed to inspiring our scholars to dream big, set realistic goals, and remain accountable.

These corporate mentors can make a profound difference in the lives of our students — many of which come from single family households, are the first in their families to go to college, or who have grown up in the foster care system.

Between the skills, expertise and resources these corporate mentors provide, our scholars are not just on a path to college, but on a path to employment — helping to build a stronger society and more prosperous communities.

In turn, the experience of mentoring our young people will help make these employees better coaches, better managers and more inclusive leaders.

It’s a win, win in my opinion.

If your business would like to partner with Give Something Back to establish a mentoring program, please contact Allison Price, Manager of Mentors and Programs, at aprice@giveback.ngo. You can learn more about our mentoring program, here.

SOURCE: Mentoring: at the crossroads of education, business and community