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Ceremony to honor millions who mentor, tutor children at Ohio State

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Millions of children around the country are in need of a mentor, but this month, the Mentoring Center of Central Ohio will recognize some of the children that have been influenced by one.
The Mentoring Center, founded in 2000, provides support for volunteers about mentoring and tutoring, according to its website.
January is National Mentoring Month and the Mentoring Center plans to recognize outstanding mentor and mentee pairs and showcase initiatives that support youth around Columbus at a Jan. 15 ceremony.
The celebration marks the 12th year that the Mentoring Center will recognize outstanding mentors, said director of the Mentoring Center Marilyn Pritchett.
“We hope to draw attention to the fact that 3 million children across the country have a mentor, and 15 million more need a mentor,” Pritchett said. “We calculate that (the Mentoring Center helps) around 7,000 kids a year.”
The celebration will highlight two outstanding mentor-mentee matches and 14 commended honorees judged by a panel of community members, including Javaune Adams-Gaston, vice president for Student Life at Ohio State. Adams-Gaston said she tries to find ways to incorporate mentoring into her work at OSU.
“We know from our own research that interaction with faculty is a predictor of student success,” Adams-Gaston said in an email statement through Student Life spokesman Dave Isaacs.
Adams-Gaston and the other panelists were selected to represent a mix of people and local community members, Pritchett said.
The keynote speaker is scheduled to be Gene Smith, OSU atletic director. Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, is among the event’s guest speakers, according to the Mentoring Center’s wesbite.
Other OSU members said they are excited for the opportunity to recognize mentors and volunteers.
Jess Williams, a fourth-year in molecular genetics, is the activity co-director for the OSU group, College Mentors for Kids, an organization that encourages children to attend college. Williams said mentoring is important because “all of the kids we service come from low socio-economic backgrounds and could be first-generation college students.”
The reception for the event is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., with the program beginning at 6 p.m. in the Ohio Statehouse Atrium. RSVP is required.

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