February 23, 2023, Durham, NC – Dr. Janis Kupersmidt, Dr. Rebecca Stelter, and Elizabeth Porter represented Mentoring Central, a division of iRT, at the annual National Mentoring Summit in Washington, DC, last month. The 2023 Summit, convened by MENTOR, brought mentoring professionals and advocates from across the nation together for expert-led presentations and networking opportunities to share mentoring best practices and drive positive change for young people.
Mentoring Central’s researchers have presented at or attended the National Mentoring Summit every year since the first annual meeting was held in 2012. This year, the Summit was held in person after being held virtually for the past three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 1,462 people attended the Summit in-person and an additional 528 attended virtually representing 56 states and territories and 12 different countries. Mentoring Central presented an exhibitor booth at the conference, as well as a virtual booth for online attendees, to share its many mentoring research-based training programs for mentors, mentees, parents or guardians of mentees, and mentoring program staff. The Mentoring Central team was excited about the opportunity to speak with colleagues about needs in the mentoring field and the resources Mentoring Central has developed to support the development and ongoing maintenance of effective mentoring programs. Mentoring Central also co-hosted an after-hours reception with Youth Collaboratory to gather and network with fellow researchers, youth leaders, and mentoring advocates attending the Summit.
In a live session at the 2023 Summit, MENTOR and Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) staff launched the Inclusive Mentoring for Youth with Disabilities Supplement to the fourth edition of Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™, MENTOR’s renowned mentoring publication. Dr. Kupersmidt served on the working group that provided advice on the development of this Supplement. The goal of the Supplement is to provide guidelines for mentoring staff so that they can develop and evaluate their mentoring programs for inclusivity and accessibility. In addition, Dr. Stelter attended a meeting, sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), of the Research Board for the National Mentoring Resource Center. As a member of the Board, Stelter provided recommendations to the Board and OJJDP about topics in mentoring that would benefit from additional research.
Mentoring Central will continue to strive to elevate mentoring relationships and support professionals in the mentoring field through its research, professional development and training programs, and involvement in contributing the ongoing work of MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership.