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Newsroom Governor Recognizes Mentoring Programs for Helping Kansans in Need
1/4/2017

Thousands of individuals across that state benefit from formal and informal mentoring relationships. Today, during the Social Services Council Meeting, in Topeka, Governor Sam Brownback recognized the tremendous impact mentoring programs have on Kansans in need, including welfare benefits recipients, inmates in Kansas jails and prisons and children in the state’s public school system.

 

Governor Brownback signed a proclamation to designate January as Mentoring Month. During the ceremony at the Curtis State Office Building, 1000 SW Jackson, officials from the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF), the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) and the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) discussed the success of their respective mentoring programs.

 

“I’ve started mentoring a young man [through HOPE Mentoring],” Governor Brownback said. “Here’s someone who has had quite a bit of difficulty, who’s been in prison a time or two, but is really working to change his life around. I’m just so encouraged by this.”


DCF’s HOPE (Hope, Opportunity and Prosperity for Everyone) Mentoring program offers mentors to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) clients and Independent Living youth who have aged out of the foster care system. Since June 2016, 288 TANF/IL clients have expressed interest or been successfully matched with a mentor.

 

The HOPE Mentoring program is changing the lives of both mentors and mentees. One Career Navigator stated that of the four people she recently referred to the program, three now have jobs that pay living wages. In addition, one mentor was able to help a mentee struggling to obtain a driver’s license break down barriers to apply for one. Thanks to his new license, the mentee was able to obtain a job that pays more than $22 per hour.

 

“The HOPE Mentoring program continues to grow as more of our clients seek additional opportunities to achieve self-reliance,” DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore said. “We are excited to hear the success stories from people who have furthered their education, found steady employment and improved their quality of life.”

 

The HOPE Mentoring program is closely modeled after Mentoring4Success, a mentoring program developed by KDOC that matches inmates, both adults and juveniles, with mentors. This positive relationship helps inmates prepare to reintegrate into society, and gives them the best chance of staying out of the corrections system. Since July 2011, the program has made 7,522 adult matches. Since July 2014, Juvenile Services has made 252 matches.

 

The Kansas Mentors program, established in 2006 and housed at KSDE, currently partners with over 175 mentoring programs across the state. The organization is committed to providing every young Kansas access to a caring and quality mentor through recruitment, awareness, and training efforts. There are approximately 20,000 youth on waiting lists needing a mentor in Kansas, and research shows that mentoring has long-term benefits on youth by increasing their chances of high school graduation and college attendance and decreasing the likelihood of substance abuse and other risky behaviors.

 

For more information on HOPE Mentoring, please visit http://www.hopementoring.dcf.ks.gov. For more information on Mentoring4Success, visit https://www.doc.ks.gov/help-out/mentoring. For more information on Kansas Mentors, visit www.KansasMentors.org.


Governor Sam Brownback designates January as Mentoring Month during a proclamation signing with: (left to right)  Celina Porter, Tracy Crockett, Dave Depue, Secretary Phyllis Gilmore, Brenda Estell, Milcah Lewis, Brandi Turner, Duane Hines, Dana Logue, Mike Siebert and Jim Echols.