CYP News

Be a Mentor and Charleston Young Professionals aim to increase involvement in mentoring

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WRITTEN BY lclark 2 years ago
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CHARLESTON, S.C. — June 30, 2015

Two Charleston-area organizations are expanding their existing partnership in hopes of increasing the long-term success of local youth and boosting the region’s economic future. Be a Mentor, an in-school mentoring program that works to ensure that every child in the Lowcountry has a caring adult in their lives, and Charleston Young Professionals (CYP), Charleston’s premier organization for young professionals, aim to involve 10% of CYP members in mentoring by the end of the year.

The partnership, which started in 2014, encourages young professionals across the Charleston area to become mentors to disadvantaged youth in tri-county schools through CYP’s Mentor Program. Volunteer mentors from CYP take an active role in shaping the region’s future by fostering leadership skills in their mentees and preparing them for post-secondary education and fulfilling careers in local industry. Additionally, volunteers have a chance to be mentored themselves by a local business professional. The Mentor Program allows individuals to help develop the region’s workforce and ensure the Charleston Metro produces career-ready young adults.

“Student mentees love being able to engage with and learn from someone close to their own age. YPs serve as energetic role models and really help mentees visualize where they see themselves in 10-15 years,” said Eileen Burkhardt, Director of Operations at Be a Mentor. “Spending time with their mentees gives YPs a sense of responsibility and purpose – they have a hand in shaping the life of their individual mentee, but also in shaping the future of Charleston.”

Mentors meet with students at their school once a week, typically during the students’ lunch period. At the elementary school level, mentors focus on the development of social and emotional skills. With middle and high school students, mentors assist mentees in strengthening leadership skills and preparing for post-secondary education or a career. Be a Mentor has been able to place 24 mentors with youth in various grades in Charleston and Berkley County schools through CYP.

In an effort to attract more mentors, the organizations are hosting a joint event for CYP members interested in mentoring on July 21st at 8 p.m. at the Bay Street Biergarten (549 E. Bay Street, Charleston). Attendees will get the chance to compete in trivia, sample drink specials and learn more information about getting involved with Be a Mentor.

The event is free and open to all CYP members.

CYP’s partnership with Be a Mentor helps to fulfill one of the organizations major priorities: professional development. This focuses both on the professional development of individual members and the development of the Charleston Metro area as a hub for businesses and industry. Other development programs include YP 101 and YP Fuel, which provides members with skills necessary to become regional leaders through relevant speakers and events.

Be a Mentor and CYP hope to have at least 110 young professionals involved in mentoring by the end of 2015.

For more information about Be a Mentor or to become a mentor, visit For more information about Charleston Young Professionals and membership, visit

About Be a Mentor

Founded in 2004, Be a Mentor is a nonprofit organization headquartered in North Charleston, SC. There are currently five signature programs being implemented in various schools throughout the Lowcountry. The Lunch Buddy program fills the need for in-school mentoring for elementary school children. Project Shine focuses on career exploration, academic success and teaches the importance of setting and reaching goals at the middle school grade levels. The Career Path program matches mentors with high school students interested in similar career areas. The Academic Mentoring program matches mentors with youth living at the Carolina Youth Development Center (CYDC) to offer academic support as well as life mentoring. Basic Boosters matches adult tutors with elementary school students to improve basic skills in fundamental subjects. For more information, visit


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