For at-risk young adults, having a mentor can be the difference between going on to college and dropping out of high school. A mentoring relationship with a caring adult can encourage young people to participate in after-school activities, be leaders in clubs and teams, volunteer in their communities or even go on to be a mentor themselves.
As active members in our local communities, Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies have made mentoring a priority. And we’re proud that those efforts are being recognized by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR).
In January 2016, MENTOR identified Corporate Mentoring Honor Roll Members, including BCBS companies, for their outstanding contributions to advancing quality mentoring opportunities for young people and their commitment to the Corporate Mentoring Challenge. Launched by First Lady Michelle Obama, the Corporate Mentoring Challenge promotes and recognizes the breadth and impact of private-sector engagement in quality youth mentoring.
BCBS companies support youth and workplace mentoring through a variety of ways, including:
- BCBS company leaders have a long history of serving as members of their local Mentoring Partnerships Board of Directors. Mentoring Partnerships are affiliates of MENTOR that provide regional, state and local leadership to support the expansion of mentoring relationships.
- Providing grants to local organizations of all sizes from Mentoring Partnerships, Big Brothers Big Sisters to smaller community-based mentoring programs.
- BCBS employees in some states mentor high school students through a career pathways mentoring program.
According to MENTOR, one in three young people will grow up without a mentor and studies show that youths with mentors are more likely to be successful in school, and to enter young adulthood with opportunities for ongoing education and career choices. Young adults who were at-risk for falling off track but have a mentor are:
- 55 percent more likely to enroll in college
- 78 percent more likely to volunteer regularly
- 90 percent more interested in becoming a mentor
- 130 percent more likely to hold leadership positions*
BCBS companies’ commitment toward youth mentoring is just one example of what we have termed The Power of Blue – the collective ability of Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to make a difference in the communities we serve. A selection of these initiatives is featured in Investing in America’s Health, an annual community report by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. In addition to the support of national and regional mentoring initiatives, in 2014 BCBS companies provided:
- Nearly $400 million in charitable spend to support community health initiatives
- Nearly 300,000 hours of community service by BCBS employees across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico
To learn more about how BCBS companies are improving the health and wellness of members and their communities, visit www.bcbs.com/investingincommunities.