MENTOR and Corporation for National and Community Service Honor Corporate Mentoring Challenge Awardees

WASHINGTON, DC – MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) will recognize four corporations for their outstanding contributions to advancing quality mentoring opportunities for our youth. They will receive this recognition through their participation in the Corporate Mentoring Challenge, originally launched by First Lady Michelle Obama. Bank of America, Coastway Community Bank, Luxottica and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company will be honored during an awards ceremony at the 2014 National Mentoring Summit.

“All of the companies that participated in the Corporate Mentoring Challenge represent extraordinary models of corporate citizenship when it comes to investing– both human and financial resources – in our next generation of leaders through mentoring,” said David Shapiro, President and CEO of MENTOR.  “Their innovative and strategic partnerships produce positive outcomes for young people that result in a powerful mentoring effect on our future workforce, economy and strength as a nation.”

The First Lady launched the Corporate Mentoring Challenge at the 2011 National Mentoring Summit as a challenge to the private sector to create or expand a mentoring initiative within their companies and to encourage employee participation in youth mentoring programs. And in doing so said the goal is to “build a culture where no child ever feels like they’re on their own.”

“Congratulations to the Corporate Mentoring Challenge winners,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “These businesses are inspiring young people to reach their full potential. The mentoring experience is citizenship in action and creates the drive that leads to a new generation of responsible, engaged Americans.”

The following companies will receive special recognition in the following award categories based on an independent review panel of judges:

  • Highest total number of employees participating in a mentoring program: Bank of America
  • Highest percentage employees participating in a mentoring program: Coastway Community Bank (Rhode Island)
  • Most robust and comprehensive local youth mentoring program: Luxottica (Cincinnati, OH)
  • Most robust and comprehensive national youth mentoring program: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

Bank of America fosters a culture of volunteer mentoring by encouraging employees to serve as mentors in either short or long-term opportunities through robust mentoring volunteer partnerships in local communities and offering employees two hours a week to volunteer. In one year alone, this effort resulted in more than 211,000 hours in mentoring from more than 25,000 employees. Volunteering is woven into Bank of America’s philanthropic partnerships across the country and in 2013, Bank of America contributed more than $22 million in grants to nonprofit partners working to connect individuals to education and job training programs, including support for organizations to match over 100,000 youth with mentors.

“We recognize the profound impact that mentors can have, particularly on young people as they look to enter the workforce or continue their education”, said Kerry Sullivan, Bank of America Charitable Foundation president. “We work with a range of local and national philanthropic partners to support our employees’ passion for mentoring while helping them create meaningful connections in the communities we serve.”

Coastway Community Bank employees mentor in 10 schools from elementary to high school in low to middle income areas covering the communities they serve. In addition, their employees contribute 100 volunteer hours to manage a silent auction fundraiser for the Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership.

“Mentoring at Coastway has been a passion for over 20 years.  We talk about it over lunch.  We strategize in our offices,” said Brenda Forsyth, Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Coastway Community Bank. “We have dedicated so many employees and so much of our time and energy to mentoring in the elementary schools that they’ll tell you it feels like we have adopted them.”

Luxottica employees based in Cincinnati, Ohio at the company’s North America headquarters designed a workplace mentoring program to support and inspire students to graduate high school and go to college. Each year since 2001, 45 students grades 9-12 are matched with Luxottica mentors.  An additional 1,350 students at the school are supported in-school with technology-based initiatives.

“At Luxottica we’re committed to helping the world see,” said Carlo Privitera, Chief Operating Officer of Luxottica North America. “Through our Student Mentoring Program, we’re enabling students to see a brighter future by interacting with our professional team members who are invested in the students’ high school and long-term success. We’re honored that our associates’ passion for mentoring is being recognized.”

The Ritz-Carlton Succeed Through Service program introduces hotel employees to students in 82 middle schools in low-income communities and follows a curriculum focused on teaching career and life skills along with civic responsibility. The program includes employee time in the schools as well as student trips to The Ritz-Carlton hotels for firsthand experiences.

“We are committed to enhancing the lives, well-being and career prospects for young people in communities in which we operate hotels, and our Succeed Through Service program provides a platform for us to deliver on that promise,” said Hervé Humler, President and Chief Operations Officer.  “I am very proud of the meaningful difference our Ritz-Carlton ladies and gentlemen are making by helping young students flourish and this award is testimony to the critical role mentoring plays in a child’s future success.”

All of the corporate champions that entered the CMC will be recognized for their leadership in advancing support and opportunities for young people through mentoring during the 2014 National Mentoring Summit.

  • AT&T
  • Bloomberg LP
  • Certilman Balin
  • Comcast
  • EY
  • First Niagara
  • LPL Financial
  • Raytheon
  • Securian Financial Group

To view each company’s Corporate Mentoring Challenge submission, please visit


MENTOR is the unifying champion for quality youth mentoring in the United States. MENTOR’s mission is to close the “mentoring gap” and ensure our nation’s young people have the support they need through quality mentoring relationships to succeed at home, school, and ultimately, work. To achieve this, MENTOR collaborates with its Mentoring Partnership Network and works to drive the investment of time and money into high impact mentoring programs and advance quality mentoring through the development and delivery of standards, cutting-edge research and state-of-the-art tools.

About CNCS

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit

About The Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership

RIMP is the statewide leader in youth mentoring.  Our mission is to enhance the lives of Rhode Island youth through mentoring.  Our philosophy is simple: when we invest today in expanding our community’s capacity to mentor our youth, we will see an incredible return in the lives of our children and the health of our communities for generations to come.  RIMP serves as an umbrella organization for more than 60 mentoring programs around Rhode Island offering help with recruitment, training, and other support.  RIMP is also directly responsible for the coordination of the school-based mentoring programs in Warwick, Woonsocket, Newport, and Middletown.  Please contact RIMP at 401.732.7700 or visit to learn more about becoming a mentor.

MENTOR: Diane Quest | 617.303.4609 |

CNCS: Samantha Jo Warfield | 202-606-6775 |

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