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Memphis Grizzlies celebrate National Mentoring Month with seven 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 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.

“Mentoring is extremely close to my heart and the mentors throughout my life have shaped me into the man I am today. It's important that we pour into the young people in the Memphis community through mentoring and encourage them to not only have a voice, but to also use their voice,” 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, but now more than ever it is important to support our local youth and I encourage everyone to become a mentor through the Grizzlies Foundation.”

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. 6: Mentoring Night at FedExForum

MENTOR Memphis Grizzlies will tip off National Mentoring Month celebrations by hosting Mentoring Night at FedExForum on Thursday, Jan. 6, when the Grizzlies host the Pistons at home. Program staff from MMG affiliates, mentors and mentees will celebrate together in the Mentor Zone, receiving “Mentoring Matters” t-shirts, playing games and connecting with each other before the game. Mentoring Night will also feature several in-game activations highlighting mentorship in the local community.

Jan. 12: 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 MMG Affiliate Organization of the Year. Award recipients will be honored during the National Mentoring Month Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 12, at 6 p.m. in the Grand Lobby at FedExForum. The ceremony is closed to the public, but media are invited to attend.

Jan. 14: New Mentor Training

The MENTOR Memphis Grizzlies Training Institute will offer a New Mentor Training in conjunction with Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and the Pepsi Stronger Together campaign. New Mentor Training starts the process of preparing adults with the tools and skills needed to mentor youth within the MMG youth mentoring network. This training is open to anyone interested in becoming a volunteer youth mentor can find out more at grizzliesfoundation.org.

Jan. 17: Martin Luther King Jr. Day Recruitment Fair Inside FedExForum

MMG affiliates will have information tables inside FedExForum to recruit mentors for their respective programs before the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration Game against the Chicago Bulls. Themed Driving the Dream Through Mentoring, the Recruitment Fair will be active until the start of the third quarter and will be located on the Plaza Level.

Jan. 20: Sounds of Mentoring

The Grizzlies TEAM Mentor Program will host its volunteer mentors in celebration of their volunteerism in honor of National Mentoring Month. This unique, music centric celebration, will take place in the Memphis Listening Lab at Crosstown Concourse on Thursday, Jan. 20, from 6-8 pm. This event is closed to the public, but media are invited to attend.

Jan. 22: National Mentoring Month Car Parade

For the second year in a row, MMG will host a Car Parade in celebration of National Mentoring Month. Mentors, mentees & program staff will come together to celebrate the impact of youth mentoring across the mid-south on Saturday, Jan. 22, by taking a joy ride through Downtown Memphis. Participants will gather in the Gossett Motors Garage for check-in, and the parade will begin on B.B. King Blvd., beside FedExForum Plaza where participants will be cheered on by Grizz Girls, Claw Crew and enjoy music from a special guest DJ. There will be an award for the best-decorated vehicle.

Jan. 26-28: National Mentoring Summit

The 2022 National Mentoring Summit, themed Mentoring Amplifies Connection, will be a hybrid event, with opportunities to engage both in-person and virtually. Mentoring practitioners, researchers, youth leaders, and public officials will gather in conversations around supporting young people, strengthening programs and practices and advancing a collective mentoring agenda. For more information on the National Mentoring Summit click here.

About National Mentoring Month

National Mentoring Month, led by MENTOR National, 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. Fans can follow @GrizzCommunity on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to support the Amplify Mentoring digital campaign. Those who want to get involved and become a mentor can do so at grizzliesfoundation.org.

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

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