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Memphis Grizzlies celebrate National Mentoring Month with multiple events throughout January

by Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis, Tenn. – 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 Memphis community and connect youth with mentors. MMG, Tennessee State Affiliate of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, 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.

“We have so many young people in Memphis who could benefit from having a mentor, and I know personally how fulfilling it can be to partner with a mentee and watch them grow,” said Elliot Perry, Chairman of the Board of the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation. “We have been committed to the practice of mentorship since the team arrived in Memphis. The month of January allows the foundation to put a special emphasis on mentor recruitment, while celebrating our current mentors for their devotion to our youth. Life has given all of us a great deal of experiences we can share with a young person, so I encourage you to pay it forward and consider becoming a mentor with the Grizzlies Foundation. Trust me your investment will pay off”.

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 community members to sign up to become a mentor.

Jan. 19: Mentor Palooza: Virtual Recruitment Fair

The Grizzlies Foundation will host “Mentor Palooza,” a multi-faceted virtual recruitment fair with interviews, entertainment, mentor program spotlights and more. Hosted by Grind City Media’s Meghan Triplett and Michael Wallace, the virtual mentor recruitment fair will feature special guests, former Grizzlies player and mentor Elliot Perry, Grizzlies Head Coach Taylor Jenkins and Grizzlies guards Tyus Jones and Desmond Bane. The event will serve as a platform to bring awareness and excitement around the power of mentoring, while also serving as a volunteer recruitment tool. This innovative event, the first of its kind for the Grizzlies Foundation, will produce an increase in the number of youth in the city of Memphis with access to quality mentors invested in preparing them for success in college, career and life. Tune in to “Mentor Palooza” Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 3 p.m., by visiting grizzlies.com/mentorpalooza.

Jan. 21: MENTOR Memphis Grizzlies National Mentoring Month Awards Ceremony

MMG is celebrating National Mentoring Month by recognizing and honoring individuals, businesses and groups that have exemplified a commitment to youth mentoring. Awards will be given to the Mentee of the Year, Mentor of the Year, Mentoring Practitioner of the Year, Business Partnership of the Year, Mentor Advocate of the Year and the MMG Affiliate Organization of the Year. Award recipients will be honored during the Virtual National Mentoring Month Awards on Thursday, Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. Click here to tune into the awards ceremony.

Jan. 23: National Mentoring Month Car Parade

MMG will host a Car Parade in celebration of National Mentoring Month. Mentors, mentees & program staff will join together to celebrate the impact of youth mentoring within the mid-south on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 11 a.m., by taking a joy ride through Downtown Memphis. Participants will gather in the Gossett Motors Garage for check-in. The parade will begin at FedExForum Plaza where participants will be cheered on by Grizz Girls, Claw Crew and also enjoy music from a special guest DJ. There will be an award for the best-decorated vehicles. All registered participants will receive a registration packet with supplies for showing their pride for youth mentoring. Packets will be available for pick-up on Wednesday, Jan. 20 from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., at FedExForum. All participants must pre-register, to register a vehicle for the parade click here.

Jan. 24: Mentoring Night at FedExForum

National Mentoring Month celebrations will continue on January 24 as the Grizzlies Foundation will host Mentoring Night during the Grizzlies vs. Kings game at FedExForum. Throughout the game, the Grizzlies and MMG will share video recaps from Mentoring Month as well as take a look back at previous years.

National Mentoring Month, led by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, is the time of year where engagement from community members interested in becoming a mentor is highest. The partnership’s ongoing campaign, Amplify Mentoring, focuses not only on bringing awareness to the mentoring movement, but also supporting advocacy, fundraising, recruitment and storytelling. With the support of the mentoring community, MMG is encouraging others to go beyond just digital engagement and become involved in Amplify Mentoring by using the hashtag #MentoringAmplifies. Fans can follow @grizzliesfoundation on Facebook or @GrizzCommunity on Twitter and Instagram to support the Amplify Mentoring digital campaign. Those who want to get involved and become a mentor can do so at grizzliesfoundation.org.

Fans can also visit grizzlies.com/MLK for a full list of MLK Jr. Celebration events. Tune-in to the MLK Celebration Game vs. the Phoenix Suns in a side-by-side telecast on Monday, Jan. 18 at 4 p.m., broadcasting regionally on FOX Sports Southeast, presented by FanDuel Sportsbook and nationally on TNT.

For more information on the Grizzlies, ‘like’ Memphis Grizzlies on Facebook or follow @memgrizz on Twitter and Instagram.

About National Mentoring Month

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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