January 2010 – Dave Van Patten, President of Dare Mighty Things, was invited to the White House on January 20, 2010 to participate in President and Mrs. Obama’s celebration of National Mentoring Month. Van Patten is co-chair of the Research and Policy Council with University of Massachusetts Boston’s Jean Rhodes, Ph.D. The mission of the RPC is to promote greater exchange among practitioners, policymakers, and researchers in order to strengthen the practice of youth mentoring. Recognized as a member of the Federal Mentoring Council, and having led many mentoring initiatives since 1991, Dare Mighty Things is playing an important role in the future of mentoring in America.
In his remarks, President Obama emphasized the importance of being a caring adult in the life of a child. He said, “We know the difference a responsible, caring adult can make in a child’s life: buck them up when they’re discouraged; provide tough love when they veer off track; being that person in their lives who doesn’t want to let them down, and that they don’t want to let down; and refusing to give up on them — even when they want to give up on themselves.”
The First Lady also spoke, introducing an intitiative she helped launch that pairs White House staff members with DC-area students, many of whom were in attendance. She directed some of her comments to the mentees, honoring their mentors for giving so much of themselves to help guide young people. “People are doing this because they want to be a part of your lives, they want to hear about your hopes and dreams and your passions and your struggles. They are here because they believe in your potential and they want to share some of the lessons that they’ve learned along the way.”
The full remarks of President and Michelle Obama can be seen here.