National Mentoring Month kicked off 2012 with the spirit of volunteerism! In this special issue of our newsletter, we want to reflect on the memorable moments and exciting events that took place throughout the month of January. Since 2002, National Mentoring Month has served to remind us of our duty to inspire and lead our youth to reach their fullest potential. Thank you to all of our volunteers who devote their time to steer our mentees towards success! We encourage everyone to use the momentum from National Mentoring Month and continue to serve your community by signing up to be a mentor or making a donation.

“Mentoring is one of the best investments we can make in our future generation. We must concentrate on mentoring children in need – not just during National Mentoring Month, but every month and every day of the year.” —Mentoring USA Founder and Chairperson, Matilda Raffa Cuomo.

National Mentoring Month Recap

Bloomingdale’s Window Unveiling

Bloomingdale's Window

On January 12, 2012, Bloomingdale’s held their annual window unveiling in support of National Mentoring Month. For the last 14 years, Bloomingdale’s and Mentoring USA have worked together to spread mentoring. In New York City, Bloomingdale’s Corporate Employees have mentored students at P.S. 59. This year, the Bloomingdale’s mentors worked with their third grade mentees to paint portraits of how each mentee envisions their future. Those portraits were unveiled and displayed in the¬†Bloomingdale’s store window on 60th and Lexington. Afterwards, a breakfast celebration followed and numerous speakers spoke passionately about the benefits and impact of mentoring.

Guest speakers included: Founder and Chairperson of Mentoring USA, Matilda Raffa Cuomo; Chairman and CEO of Bloomingdale’s, Michael Gould; weatherman on WPIX 11, Mr. G; actor and longtime supporter of MUSA, Charles Grodin, and special guest, White House Champion of Change recipient, Thabiti Boone.

Mentoring USA’s annual Charles Grodin Champion of Change award went to one of Bloomingdale’s dedicated mentors, Velvor Rhone, who has volunteered at PS 59 for the last nine years.

National Mentoring Conference

Mentoring USA was in attendance at the 2012 National Mentoring Conference that took place on January 24 & 25th, in Washington D.C. The conference brought together mentoring organizations from around the country to evaluate best practices and work on methods to ensure that mentoring is productive for both, mentee and mentors alike.

In addition to the conference’s informative workshops at the Fairmont, Matilda Cuomo spoke at the International Spy Museum, on January 25th, on the importance of mentoring. Afterwards, she hosted a book signing of the newest edition of “The Person Who Changed My Life: Prominent Americans Recall their Mentors.”

Mrs. Cuomo’s Book and Reception

Cuomo Book Party

Matilda Raffa Cuomo, Founder of Mentoring USA and editor of the new edition of “The Person Who Changed My Life: Prominent People Recall Their Mentors,” hosted a book launch celebration on Thursday, January 26th at the New York Historical Society. Prominent book contributors in attendance included Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor Mario Cuomo, Kenneth Cole, Chris Cuomo, Harry Belafonte, Charles Grodin, Elizabeth Hart, Anne Jackson, Eli Wallach, Peter Max, Robin Roberts, Al Roker, Senator Bill Bradley, and Meredith Vieira.

As part of the festivities, renowned artist Peter Max presented Mrs. Cuomo with a portrait of her. Mentees from MUSA’s program also presented Mrs. Cuomo with a cake to celebrate her recent 80th birthday.

In the 3rd edition of The Person Who Changed My Life, with a foreword by Hillary Rodham Clinton, some of the biggest names in the world of entertainment, politics, media, advocacy, and fashion, such as Whoopi Goldberg, Dr. Oz, her son and Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo, Alec Baldwin, and many others, write about the men and women who have served as their mentors. Make sure to pick up your copy today!

NASDAQ – Closing Bell Ceremony


Mentoring USA would like to give a big thank you to NASDAQ for once again giving us the opportunity to participate in the Closing Bell ceremony for the NASDAQ Stock Market.

On January 20th, 2012, mentors and mentees from Washington Irving High School, along with a few Mentoring USA program graduates, were selected to partake in the ceremony.

After remarks from our founder, Matilda Raffa Cuomo, MUSA guests Shawn Dove from the Open Society Foundation-CBMA, Thomas Owens from Communities in Schools, and Kenneth Braswell from Father’s Incorporated, were invited on stage for the closing of the bell that appeared on the NASDAQ Tower in Time Square and on national financial networks.

Mentor Happy Hour

We could not have celebrated National Mentoring Month without celebrating our remarkable mentors!

On January 19th, 2012, Mentors and MUSA came together at Latitude Bar and Grill for our very first Mentor Happy Hour. The evening was excellent for networking and getting to know fellow mentors and staff! Thanks again to everyone who made it a great night!

Mentor Tip: Diversity in Mentoring

The role of the mentor is to impart wisdom, advice and guidance to mentors.

  • Mentees need to be empowered-to use their diversity, creativity, ideas and initiatives to pursue their dreams of achieving success.
  • In a cross-cultural or cross-gender mentoring relationship, it is critical to understand how different the matches’ assumptions may be about human behavior.
  • Understanding cultural or gender-based assumptions will develop and strengthen the authenticity and trust essential for successful mentoring.

Fashionable Fundraiser

Since 1998, Bloomingdale’s has been a strong supporter of Mentoring USA. Starting with a small program of 10 matches in Manhattan, Bloomingdale’s now allows over 100 employees to volunteer in communities across the country. This support was extended three years ago to include the Fashionable Fundraiser, now an annual fundraiser benefiting Mentoring USA. Mentoring USA has utilized to expand our programming with Bloomingdale’s employees to provide mentoring to more youth in more cities in need.

Programs with Bloomingdale’s employees are currently running in Chicago, IL, Orange County, CA, and Viers Mills, MD thanks to the Fashionable Fundraiser, which will take place on Feb. 24th-26th this year! Mentoring USA is very fortunate to be partnered with Bloomingdale’s and we look forward to growing together across the nation.

Thank you for your continued support of Mentoring USA’s programs and activities. Remember to follow us on Twitter and Like Us on Facebook for latest in news and events from Mentoring USA.

“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.” — Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor Johnson, former First Lady

Mentoring USA