Mentorship is one of the Bucks’ main community focuses, and on Wednesday, the team, the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee Public Schools announced a partnership to launch a new organization they say will be locally transformative.
MENTOR Greater Milwaukee (MGM), the 26th affiliate of the nationwide mentoring network, will advocate for and help expand quality mentoring in the metro area, and with the support of all three partners, it will also serve as a resource for mentors and mentoring initiatives.
MENTOR Greater Milwaukee will increase the capacity of existing mentoring programs, provide technical assistance and training, raise awareness for the need of mentors and "determine how everyone – individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities and nonprofits – can work together to help ensure positive outcomes for Milwaukee’s youth, the Bucks said. The organization will also bring together stakeholders and encourage them to expand engagements and investment in the community.
"In late 2014, the NBA partnered with MENTOR and made a commitment to help recruit 25,000 new mentors over five years," Bucks President Peter Feigin said in a statement. "Incredibly, the NBA family hit that mark in 18 months and then doubled their commitment.
"The Milwaukee Bucks are huge believers in the power of mentoring, because the data shows that mentoring works. We know that the best work is done in partnership, and that is why we are eager to collaborate with the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee Public Schools to help launch MGM, which will work to ensure that all youth in Milwaukee have access to a quality mentor or mentoring program."
In creating MENTOR Greater Milwaukee, the Bucks, the City and MPS point to the benefits that mentoring has on kids and young adults, and the impact it has on improving the community. Young people with mentors, they said, are more likely to graduate from high school and go to college, more likely to engage in extracurricular activities and sports and more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities and become mentors themselves.
"MENTOR Greater Milwaukee will bring a surge of mentors into our schools with real potential to connect with students, help to improve their academic achievement and attendance, and inspire them to pursue their goals," said Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver. "We believe mentors can help inspire our students and we are extremely excited about having been at the ground level of building this important opportunity for MPS students."
According to the Bucks, the search is now underway for an Executive Director of the newly formed organization. MGM , the team said, is "seeking a visionary who understands Milwaukee’s youth mentoring landscape, who is a collaborative and strategic leader that is able to balance ‘big picture’ thinking with the administrative know-how of a results-oriented manager and has a track record of building partnerships and community collaboration." Interested candidates can apply at positivelypartners.org/job/?p=showJob&ID=17.
Along with youth education, youth health and wellness and community betterment, it’s one of the core community commitments in the Bucks’ social responsibility department. And MPS has been a common ally, with players like Malcolm Brogdon, Eric Bledsoe and others directly mentoring kids, and Jabari Parker being so involved in schools that he received the MPS Excellence in Education Award last year.
For more information on the Bucks Foundation and the team’s community work, click here.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.