Take a moment to think about your mentors. Family members, neighbors, teachers, coaches, community leaders, bosses — anyone who positively shaped who you are and where you are today. Perhaps you’ve had one, or many. You may have never called or thought of them as a mentor, but their influence has nevertheless been felt. Unfortunately, not every young person receives the mentorship they need.

1 in 3 young people do not have a mentor when growing up.

According to survey data from MENTOR, one in three young people overall and even more at-risk youth report they never had an adult mentor of any kind (naturally occurring or structured) while they were growing up.

Connecting with a mentor can be the difference in whether a child builds confidence, realizes their potential, and develops the ability to dream beyond a city block, a small town in the heartland, or rows of sameness in suburbia.

All it takes is one person who is willing to reach out and make that connection.

Rob and Antwan

“It’s been a very, very fulfilling experience to see him grow. Moreover, it’s been an opportunity for me to grow.” — Rob Weaver

Angelina and Valerie

“I’m in Texas, she’s in California, but that didn’t stop us from having a bond.” — Angelina Carter

Marquis and Fatimah

“With Fatimah specifically, I saw her start to be more confident…and she blossomed into a professional presenter.” — Marquis Ratliff

In less than 4 years, the employees above and their colleagues here at AT&T have provided 1 million hours of mentoring to students who need it the most. Employee mentors participate in our Aspire Mentoring Academy, a part of AT&T Aspire, our company’s signature philanthropic initiative to promote student success in school and beyond.