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WKYC's all-day volunteer recruitment blitz, 'Mentor Monday,' returns on January 27

1,000 mentors are needed to help local students succeed in college. And if you have a college degree, you fit the bill.
Credit: Margaret Bernstein
Russ Mitchell interviews his new mentee on air during Mentor Monday 2019.

CLEVELAND — For the second year, WKYC Studios will present “Mentor Monday,” a day-long on-air recruiting blitz that seeks volunteer mentors to be paired with Say Yes to Education scholarship recipients.

This year, Mentor Monday will be held on Monday, Jan. 27. Throughout the day, WKYC’s newscasts will highlight the College Now of Greater Cleveland mentoring program and give viewers the opportunity to sign up to participate.

During Mentor Monday last year, WKYC anchor Russ Mitchell announced that he had personally become a College Now mentor to a Cleveland high school student. The campaign not only netted 125 volunteers in one day, it also had a tremendous ripple effect, helping lay the groundwork for College Now to meet its overall goal of recruiting 1,000 mentors in 2019.  

This year, College Now again needs to recruit 1,000 mentors to pair with seniors who will graduate in spring and head off to two- and four-year colleges in the fall. The need for mentors became a pressing local priority in 2019 when Cleveland became a Say Yes to Education city and hundreds of first-generation students became eligible for full tuition scholarships.

To celebrate Mentor Monday, WKYC studios will also host a small reception to recognize employees of Cleveland Metropolitan School District, who have made a point of stepping up to be among the first to volunteer as mentors.

The reception will be emceed by Cleveland schools CEO Eric Gordon, who will recognize his employees for rising to the challenge and demonstrating their commitment to the students they serve. 

The reception will be catered by Chef Doug Katz of Fire Food & Drink, who also has signed up to be a College Now mentor. Drinks are being provided by Lago Restaurant.

 “We are extremely grateful for the partnership of WKYC, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and Say Yes Cleveland on Mentor Monday,” said Madeline Rife, director of College Now's mentoring program. “Without their support, we would not be able to reach our goal of recruiting 1,000 mentors to support our scholarship recipients. We are blown away by the community commitment to this initiative.”

Mentor Monday is made possible thanks to generous sponsorship from McDonald Hopkins LLC.

To be a College Now mentor, you must have a college degree, commit to a four-year relationship with a student, pass a background check, and go through a brief training process. 

If you would like to make a difference in the life of a scholarship recipient, you don't have to wait until Jan. 27. Apply online at www.collegenowgc.org/become-a-mentor to be considered for a match in summer 2020. For more information, contact Jabari Dorsey at College Now (jdorsey@collegenowgc.org or 216.635.0268).

RELATED: Helping kids succeed in college is the goal of College Now’s Mentor-Mentee Initiative

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