UTSA P-20 Initiatives hosts mentor recognition luncheon, seminar Jan. 20

Mentoring Child

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(Jan. 17, 2012) -- As part of National Mentoring Month, the UTSA Office of P-20 Initiatives and San Antonio Mentoring Forum (SAMF) will host the annual Mentor Recognition Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, Jan. 20 in the University Center ballroom at the UTSA Main Campus. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who established the citywide mentoring initiative "Inspire U" in 2008, is expected to attend.

The luncheon honors outstanding mentors and brings attention to the need for mentors for youths in our community. It also raises funds for UTSA mentoring initiatives such as training and mentoring awareness programs.

Paid luncheon attendees are invited to attend the seminar "Bridges out of Poverty" free of charge. The professional development seminar will be 8-11 a.m. in the University Center ballroom. Seminar speaker Gary Eagleton will discuss how economic class affects behaviors and mindsets, why students from generational poverty often fear being educated, the "hidden rules" within economic classes, discipline interventions that improve behavior and the eight resources that make a difference in success.

The San Antonio Mentoring Forum is a UTSA Office of P-20 Initiatives program and serves as an informal organization for mentoring organizations and mentoring advocates. It is a place where groups such as Communities in Schools, Big Brothers Big Sisters, School Districts, faith-based organizations, businesses and other mentoring advocates come together to share mentoring information, promote mentoring awareness and foster collaboration in the mentoring community. The forum is a UTSA mentoring initiative and focuses on one-to-one mentoring for youths in Bexar County.

The UTSA Mentor Recognition Luncheon is part of a National Mentoring Month campaign that includes many activities across the country. The campaign aims to mobilize community volunteers to mentor young people and increase knowledge about how mentoring can greatly enhance a young person's prospects for leading a healthy and productive life. Research shows that mentoring has beneficial, long-term effects on youths by increasing their chances of high school graduation and college attendance and decreasing the likelihood of substance abuse and other risky behaviors.

Belinda Saldana, director of community outreach in the UTSA Office of P-20 Initiatives, and Ilsa Garcia, volunteer coordinator of communities with Schools-San Antonio, will travel to Washington, D.C., Jan. 24-25 to participate in a panel presentation at the National Mentoring Summit. Their panel topic, "College Partnerships for Mentoring," will highlight the collaborative efforts of San Antonio Mentoring Forum members.

>> To learn more about the luncheon or to purchase tickets, visit the San Antonio Mentoring Forum website or contact Belinda Saldana at 210-458-2904.