Kenneth Cole Productions’ Mentor, Shawna Smith-Hogan, with her PS 111 mentee, Lia. Fellow fourth grader, Engy, also a PS 111 mentee, is featured on the left. Mentoring USA, Kenneth Cole and PS 111 have partnered for 14 years.

New York, NY (Wednesday, July 15, 2015) – This school year close to 10,000 people were impacted by Mentoring USA’s direct services and technical assistance across the United States. Parents, students, and communities around the country were able to learn from Mentoring USA’s structured, site-based mentoring curriculum that focuses on fostering an appreciation for diversity, building self-esteem, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and financial education and responsibility. 90% of the young people enrolled in our mentoring program went on to the next grade level. The 2014 – 2015 school year also showed strong results in Mentoring USA’s Young Men of Color initiative, a program focused on youth mentoring for African American and Latino students. In a year that saw significant racial tension in our nation, mentoring programs are critical in teaching our young people the importance of school and have shown the positive forces mentors can have on their lives.

“Our country has seen much violence and despair this past year but there is so much hope through the hearts and minds of these mentored children,” stated Matilda Raffa Cuomo, Founder of Mentoring USA. “For 20 years, I have seen the impact of one to one mentoring on young people’s lives and it has changed the trajectory of each and every one forever. Through mentoring, we can positively impact the future for children and their families. It is critical to keep a robust investment in mentoring – through volunteers, donations and innovation.”

Mentoring USA is a leading national provider of one-to-one site based mentoring for youth. For the third consecutive year, Mentoring USA supported the NYC Office of the Mayor as the exclusive mentoring organization partner for an innovative wraparound mentoring program launched in partnership with the NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI). In addition, Mentoring USA partnered with the White House and the City of Newark, NJ in support of President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, which addresses the persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color to ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.

Mentoring USA’s Executive Director, Stephen Powell, applauded the work of the mentors and Mentoring USA’s esteemed partners, “The collaboration between Mentoring USA’s mentors, partners and investors is what has allowed us to make a difference in the lives of our young people. Healing in communities around the nation was a central focus for leadership in the mentoring sphere and one of Mentoring USA’s metrics illustrates significant progress in this area. There was a 30% increase among our Young Men of Color mentees who now understand bystander intervention. This is the hope our Founder, Mrs. Cuomo talks about.”

Mentoring USA (MUSA) is proud to celebrate its Success by the Numbers and Narrative:


  • 17 college bound mentees will be heading to NYU, Lehman College, University of Albany, Stony Brook University, University of Buffalo, NY City College of Technology, Hofstra, Medgar Evers College, and SUNY Geneseo
  • 7,000 persons received specialized technical assistance and training related to faith-based, corporate and young men of color engagement
  • Mentoring USA Founder, Matilda Raffa Cuomo, was selected to Chair the NY State Mentoring Commission, a leadership committee charged with inculcating the value of youth mentoring throughout the state of New York.
  • 7 regional and national Young Men of Color Summits in collaboration BE BRIDGE Foundation, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, the Muhammad Ali Center, Rutgers University, Health and Human Services – Region II, and Sigma Community Enrichment
  • There was a 12% decrease in in-school/out-of-school suspensions
  • 6 new partnerships were formed, including Bank of America, where corporate America has encouraged their employees to mentor.
  • MUSA partnered with the WWE, the Eagle Academy for Young Men-Newark, and The Creative Coalition to host their 100th Be A Star Anti-Bullying Rally with superstars Titus O’Neil, Summer Rae and the Lucha Dragons
  • National podcast featuring Matilda Cuomo’s book “The Person Who Changed My Life” was hosted by the National Mentoring Research Center at U-Mass Boston
  • Mentoring Leadership recognition by GQ Magazine, Movado, Cinnamon Girl, Inc., National Black MBA – NYC Chapter, the Nubian Union, and the Wall Street Alphas Charitable Foundation
  • 11 keynote presentations
  • 190% increase in Facebook reach in one year
  • Expanded NASDAQ Financial Education and Entrepreneurship programming to additional sites
  • Hosted “Day of Mentoring” summits with ASET and SIMBA, in support of young men and women living in transitional housing facilities

“Mentoring was so much more rewarding to me that I ever expected,” stated Kenneth Cole Productions Mentor Shawna Smith-Hogan. “I felt like I was making a real difference in my mentee’s life and in return I had such a rewarding experience! I believe I grew as a parent, teacher, friend and supervisor. This experience definitely grounded me and helped me better manage my overall schedule and expectations. I am so thrilled I signed up to do this and am so proud to work for a company that believes so passionately in helping others and making a difference in so many lives.”

Mentoring USA currently serves the following cities with mentoring programs and technical assistance and support: New York City; Los Angeles CA; Santa Ana CA; Oakland, CA; Louisville KY; Chicago, IL; Silver Spring MD; Newark NJ; East Hanover, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; and Washington, DC. Mentoring USA also helps underserved children internationally through its affiliates Mentoring Italia and Mentoring Espana with mentoring programs in Europe, including in Italy, Spain, Morocco, Belgium and Latvia; and has provided technical assistance to government and educational institutions in Asia.