UTSA Office of P-20 Initiatives' S.A. Mentoring Forum hosts Texas mentoring summit

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(Jan. 9, 2014) -- To celebrate National Mentoring Month, the UTSA Office of P-20 Initiatives and the San Antonio Mentoring Forum (SAMF) will host the Texas Summit for Mentoring, "A Pipeline To and Through College," from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 10 at the Buena Vista Street Building on the UTSA Downtown Campus. The summit will include a mentor recognition luncheon at noon in the Durango Building Southwest Room (1.124).

The statewide summit will feature mentoring programs that help K-12 students to succeed in high school and college. This year's luncheon will recognize outstanding mentors in Texas and bring attention to the need for more mentors for youth.

"Session presenters and award winners are representative of the many mentoring programs across the state that are focused on helping students to successfully graduate from high school and college," said Belinda Harmon, director of community outreach in the UTSA Office of P-20 Initiatives.

Invited guest speakers include Professor Tim Cavell, director of clinical training programs in the Department of Psychological Science at the University of Arkansas; Michael J. Karcher, professor in the UTSA Department of Counseling and Laura Rendon, professor in the UTSA Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Sophia Young, WNBA player with the San Antonio Silver Stars and founder of the faith-based mentoring program Find Me, Inc., will assist in presenting the mentoring awards.

The one-day summit and luncheon are part of a National Mentoring Month campaign that includes many activities across the country and a presidential proclamation.

The campaign's goals are to mobilize community volunteers to mentor young people and to 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 and long-term effects on youth by increasing their chances of high school graduation and college attendance and decreasing the likelihood of substance abuse and other risky behaviors.

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 youth in Bexar County.

For information about the summit or awards luncheon, visit the San Antonio Mentoring Forum website or contact Belinda Harmon at 210-458-2769.