Community summit at CSN encourages more people to become mentors

Mentoring Matters summit at College of Southern Nevada's Cheyenne campus in North Las Vegas. (KSNV)

Justin Miller – a computer forensics student at College of Southern Nevada's Cheyenne campus – says he hears these phrases from his mentor regularly: "I know you can do better. I want you to do better. I expect you to do better. Let's build a plan."

On Saturday, community leaders and volunteers gathered for Mentoring Matters, a first-ever summit designed to increase Nevada’s mentoring capacity and encourage more people to become mentors.

Miller has experienced first-hand the benefits of mentoring.

"Since I've been paired up with my mentor I've seen better grades,” Miller said. “I've just built more confidence in myself. It's just the way she keeps me going."

Miller now takes part of the peer-to-peer mentorship group, Brother-To-Brother, which also took part in the summit.

"I've always loved the idea of having a mentor, somebody to groom you, somebody to study under," said Brother-To-Brother President Michael Davis. "You've got an opportunity to be a part of a group. And when you're a part of something bigger than yourself then, chances are, you succeed."

CSN officials say early evidence shows that students who participate in its mentoring program, Bump Up, are more likely to remain in college than those who don’t.

Nevada state Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson wants to expand the influence of a mentor to students of all ages throughout the state. He's currently pushing legislation which calls for the creation of a Nevada Advisory Commission on Mentoring.

"There will be key members from the community. from the business community, juvenile justice, from our faith-based community, from some of our non-profit organizations and some of our legislators will sit on it," Thompson said.

The move could connect thousands of students with people to help them achieve their dreams.

In addition to CSN, groups participating Saturday included: Nevada Black Legislative Caucus, Nevada Hispanic Legislative Caucus, the Clark County School District Partnership Office and Communities in Schools.

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