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1/28/2015 - Mayor O'Leary to Present at 2015 National Mentoring Summit


Mayor Neil M. O’Leary will join attendees from across the U.S. at the National Mentoring Summit taking place in Washington, D.C.

On January 28, nearly 1,000 youth mentoring practitioners, researchers, advocates, corporate partners, government and civic leaders and national youth-serving organizations will gather for the fifth annual National Mentoring Summit.

Mayor O’Leary’s presentation on the “Expanding the Mentoring Effect: Strengthening Communities” panel will focus on the power of the mentoring effect and how creating supportive relationships for young people acts as a key lever in strengthening communities.

Under Mayor O’Leary’s leadership, Waterbury Police Activities League (PAL) grew from serving 100 youth to now serving more than 4,000 youth.  Waterbury PAL has become the model for the National PAL program.  PAL demonstrates the many ways in which mentoring relationships connect youth to social and economic opportunity, and that through their success, the mentoring effect has the potential to strengthen families, schools, businesses and communities. Additionally, Mayor O’Leary will talk about the GEAR UP program. Waterbury received a $11.2 million GEAR UP grant administered through the US Department of Education which has been used to support 6th and 7th graders with a focus on improving college access and readiness.  Mayor O’Leary will discuss how mentoring plays a role in this effort.

Across the country, city leaders have recognized the powerful role mentoring relationships can play in improving education, reducing crime and contributing to building stronger cities.  The City of Waterbury is taking a comprehensive community approach that incorporates a focus on positive youth development and relationships to benefit the broader community.