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Monday, February 14, 2011

The Mentoring Miracle in Omaha

Wow! I just spent a few days in Omaha and I can state unequivocally that Omaha, Nebraska, is one of the brightest lights for mentoring in America.

Over the past four decades, I have worked in all 50 states and seen incredible mentoring programs. But observing the stellar work going on in Omaha, I have to say it is one of the crown jewels of mentoring in this country.

I was there at the invitation of Mike Yanney, one of the pioneers of the Omaha mentoring work. Mike invited me to keynote their mentoring summit and share the Lifeplan program with over 500 people who lead mentoring in Nebraska.

One of the most recent innovations was the creation two years ago of the Midlands Mentoring Partnership (MMP). This organization grew out of a recognition by all the programs that there were considerable opportunities for coordinating recruitment, training, and resources. MMP is a collaboration that provides funding for these programs, recognizes excellence, and continually brings new assets to the table.

The work in Omaha has a keen focus on ensuring that any young person who wants and needs a mentor has one. There is an ongoing effort to support early childhood health and learning for every young person in the Greater Omaha area. MMP is also affiliated with a program that provides financial support to students of talent and financial need through high school, college, and into the workforce.

Every elected official in Omaha, plus its business leaders and educators, has become actively involved in realizing the dream that Mike Yanney, Dick Holland, Susie Buffett, John Cavanaugh, Katie Weitz, Ken Bird, Tom Osborne, and others have to ensure the young people of the Greater Omaha area have a mentor and a path to thrive. They are also blessed to have MMP Executive Director Deborah Neary to coordinate their excellent work.

I was honored to be invited and I look forward to working with these incredible people to bring Lifeplan as another asset to the thousands of worthy young people they serve.
All the best,


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