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Memphis Grizzlies celebrate National Mentoring Month with multiple events throughout January

by Memphis Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies Foundation, through MENTOR Memphis Grizzlies (MMG), is celebrating National Mentoring Month with multiple events throughout January all in an effort to expand quality mentoring opportunities in the community and connect youth with mentors.

Through the Grizzlies Foundation, MMG strives to unite local community organizations and civic leaders to promote, support and advocate for mentoring while providing resources, leadership and training to enhance programs that support youth.

Research shows that mentors play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible choices, attend and engage in school and reduce or avoid risky behaviors like drug use. In turn, these young people are:

  • 55% more likely to be enrolled in college
  • 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities
  • 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities
  • More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team

Yet, the same research shows that one in three young people in the country will grow up without a mentor. Currently, there are nearly 61,000 youth in Memphis that could benefit from having a mentor outside of a family member.

National Mentoring Month is the time of year where engagement from community members interested in becoming a mentor is highest. MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership’s ongoing campaign, In Real Life, focuses on the real life benefits of mentoring to young people as well as real life benefits to mentors themselves. With the support of the mentoring community, MMG is encouraging others to go beyond just digital engagement and become involved In Real Life.

Through MMG, the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation will host several events throughout January to recognize local mentoring programs and their volunteers. There will also be multiple opportunities for the community members to sign up to become a mentor.

Jan. 20: 18th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Game Presented by Ford and your Mid-South Ford Dealers

Mentees of the Memphis Grizzlies Scholars Program and National Civil Rights Museum Representatives will present the 15th Annual National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Award presented by Ford and your Mid-South Ford Dealers to this year’s honorees Sheryl Swoopes, Doug Williams, Robert Parish and Caron Butler before the Grizzlies tip-off against the New Orleans Pelicans at 4 p.m. Before the game, Memphis Grizzlies Scholars Program Mentees will also attend the Earl Lloyd Sports Legacy Symposium presented by the Hyde Family Foundation at 2:30 p.m. in the Built Ford Tough Practice Facility at FedExForum.

Jan. 20: Martin Luther King Jr. Day Recruitment Fair

MMG will host “Driving the Dream Through Mentoring,” a MLK Jr. Day Recruitment Fair. Mentoring organizations will have the opportunity to table in FedExForum during the 18th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Day Game presented by Ford and your Mid-South Ford Dealers. Organizations will be onsite to recruit mentors for their respective programs. Fans who attend the game will have the opportunity to receive discounted tickets for future games when they sign up to become a volunteer mentor with any of the 20 MMG Partner Organizations at the fair.

Jan. 23: Sixth Annual MENTOR Memphis Grizzlies National Mentoring Month Awards Ceremony

MMG will host an awards dinner for National Mentoring Month in celebration of excellence in the mentoring community. The dinner will include music and live entertainment from Youth Serving Organizations. Awards will be given to the Mentee of the Year, Mentor of the Year, Mentoring Practitioner of the Year, Business Partnership of the Year and Mentoring Advocate of the Year.

Jan. 26: Mentoring Night at FedExForum

National Mentoring Month celebrations will continue on January 26 as the Grizzlies Foundation through MMG will host Mentoring Night during the Grizzlies vs. Phoenix Suns game at FedExForum. Grizzlies Foundation staff, mentors and mentees will have the opportunity to attend the game and celebrate in the “Mentor Zone” where they will receive prize packs, play games and mingle during a pre-game party. Mentoring Night will also serve as the official launch of the “TEAMmates Mentor Recognition Program,” aimed to strengthen relationships between mentors and mentees, retain volunteers and provide a network of support for mentors.

Jan. 29 – 31: National Mentoring Summit

Several representatives from the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation and local mentoring programs will travel to Washington, D.C. for MENTOR’s Tenth Annual National Mentoring Summit. The National Mentoring Summit is the only national convening of youth mentoring professionals, researchers, MENTOR affiliates, philanthropic investors and government and civic leaders, all of who are aiming to collectively strengthen and expand quality mentoring relationships for young people across the country.

Fans can follow @GrizzCommunity on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to support the In Real Life digital campaign. Those who want to get involved and become a mentor can do so at grizzliesfoundation.org.

Fans can also visit grizzlies.com for a full listing of MLK Jr. Day events. Those who want to support the Memphis Grizzlies and purchase tickets to the MLK Jr. Day game, presented by Ford and your Mid-South Ford Dealers, against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, January 20 at 4 p.m. can do so now. Fans can call (901) 888-HOOP or going online to grizzlies.com/tickets to get their tickets. For more information on the Grizzlies, visit grizzlies.com, ‘like’ Memphis Grizzlies on Facebook or follow on Twitter and Instagram (@memgrizz).


National Mentoring Month is led by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, the national organization working to expand the quality and quantity of youth mentoring relationships nationwide. Each year since its launch in 2002, National Mentoring Month has enjoyed the strong support of the President and the United States Congress.


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