On January 28th, 29th, and 30th, hundreds of individuals from organizations all around the country came together to share their experiences and hopefully learn something about mentoring at the 2015 National Mentoring Summit in Washington, DC.
The three day event kicked off with a “Capitol Hill Day” where representatives from organizations were given the opportunity to meet with members of Congress to discuss the impact their programs are having on their communities. The goal of these meetings was to stress the importance of mentoring in young people’s lives and ultimately increase the efforts of Congress to support mentoring programs.
The meat of the summit took place on Thursday and Friday, when attendees were able to participate in a number of breakout sessions and speaker panels featuring prominent members of the mentoring world. The breakout sessions had a wide variety of topic areas ranging from group mentoring techniques to individual case studies. Attendees were allowed to choose which breakout sessions they wanted to attend based on what would be most applicable to their needs.
The speaker panels featured many interesting mentors and mentees who shared their stories with the crowd. To me, the most interesting panel was with the youth and young adults who are making a difference in their communities. The speakers ranged from an 8th grader to recent college graduates, but they all had one thing in common. They took their personal experiences with a positive mentor in their life, and turned it into a program or organization that mentors other youth in their community. It was truly inspirational to hear them speak, and I recommend attending next year’s National Mentoring Summit if you have the chance!
Did you attend the National Mentoring Summit or have you attended any professional conferences related to working with youth? What have you found helpful or informative or inspiring?