January 24, 2023

Friends of the Children is Celebrating National Mentoring Month

Join us this January as we celebrate the power of relationships during National Mentoring Month

During the month of January – National Mentoring Month, Friends of the Children celebrates the power of relationships – one child, one Friend. This year marks 30 years that Friends of the Children’s paid, professional mentoring model has specialized in empowering children and families for 12+ years, no matter what.

Friends of the Children locations across our national network are participating in National Mentoring Month to raise awareness around the importance of mentorship. As our 30 sites highlight their work, they will also be honoring Friends – paid, professional mentors – like José Hernandez at Friends of the Children – Klamath Basin.

As a Friend for 15 years, José Hernandez is the longest-serving mentor at Friends – Klamath Basin. José is soft spoken and humble, and he is beloved by all for his generous spirit, consistent kindness, and gentle approach. When new staff join the Friends – Klamath Basin team, José is ready and willing to help them acclimate. When youth go astray, he never shames them but, instead, keeps reaching out and reminding them that he is eager to connect when they are ready to engage. José is all in, even known to stay out after midnight helping seniors complete last-minute projects, speeches, applications, and FAFSA forms.

“José is an angel in Friend form,” said Crystal Muno, Friends – Klamath Basin Program Director. “He is always the first to do what needs to be done, always ready to suffer for the good of the group without complaint, and always gentle. He patiently persists.” It is no wonder that José’s mentees form close bonds – “like family,” says one of his teen boys – or that they stay in touch with him long after they graduate. It’s paid, professional mentors like José that Friends of the Children is incredibly grateful to have as champions of our program day in and day out.

“It’s really all about spending time,” José Hernandez said. “It’s offering the youth a sense of belonging and purpose. Empowering children is at the core of the work.” Learn more about José, other amazing Friends, and the impact our courageous, proven model has on youth and their families as sites across our national network share inspiring stories and celebrate National Mentoring Month.

This January, Friends of the Children will be featured on hundreds of billboards in 24+ cities across the country through a partnership with Billups, an outdoor advertising agency. Billups will feature our campaign at over 4000+ traditional outdoor units and 1300+ digital kiosks/charging stations. We are grateful for these ads spotlighting National Mentoring Month and the power of one child, one Friend that brings awareness to our work across the nation.