Our country has never needed the unique mentoring model of Boys to Men Mentoring more than it does right now, and Joe traveled to DC with a few others to spread the good news about our program! In February, Boys to Men’s co-Founder and Community Development Director, Joe Sigurdson, and two valuable members of BTM USA went to our nation’s capital to meet with some big decision makers! Joining Joe on this epic field trip east were BTM USA Secretary Jamie Edmonds and BTM USA Board Chair Michael Bonahan.
While they were in Washington, DC for the annual Mentor Conference, Joe, Jamie and Michael were also able to meet with several policy-making politicians and used every spare moment to tell people about Boys to Men.
Pictured in photo – Joe Sigurdson (BTM Co-Founder & Community Development Director), Michael Bonahan (BTM-USA Board Chair), Juan Vargas (Congressman, 51st District of California), and Jamie Edmonds (BTM-USA Board Secretary)
The week-long annual Mentor Conference featured a variety of inspirational speakers and a series of small group sessions that addressed issues around mentoring such as fundraising, data tracking, mentor recruiting and retaining and even multicultural issues workshops.
One entire day was spent on Capitol Hill, where our team met with 5 members of the House and 3 state Senators. Joe, Jamie and Michael proudly initiated incredibly meaningful dialogues that are being followed up on now. In those meetings, it was made very clear from our insight and experience what the needs of fatherless teenage boys are and what solutions are effective in providing for those needs of the boys we serve.
Because the problems Boys to Men address are so non-partisan, every one of the politicians who met with BTM was eager to offer their support. Specifically, a champion was made in Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, with whom who we have been collaborating to write legislation that will provide funding for “in-school group mentoring programs, providing adult and peer mentors that meet weekly and provide outside activities that support the in-school programs.”
(Does any of this sound familiar?)
We are very close to having the final wording completed for the proposed legislation and Congresswoman Gabbard will be introducing the Bill in the next session, which, if passed would certainly help support Boys to Men programs nationwide.
Big things are happening, and BTM is ready to be part of them on every level!