A “Public Private Ventures” study shows:
- Mentees are 46% less likely to start using illegal drugs than their peers.
- Mentees are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip class.
- Mentees are more trusting of their parents or guardians, and are less likely to lie to them and feel more supported and less criticized by peers.
- Encouraging young people to stay in school, improve attendance, academic achievement, and overall academic focus.
- Inspiring students to make sound decisions and take on higher levels of personal responsibility for their actions at home, in the classroom and in the greater community.
- Helping to instill self-confidence in young people and improve their communication and problem solving skills.
- Helping students grow, and attain a greater sense of purpose, enterprise and accomplishment, guiding them toward a brighter future.
- Visit the Council on Children and Families’ website and use the interactive map to select the county you would like to mentor in. Contact information for the Mentoring Coordinator for your selected county is presented on the map. Please feel free to contact the Mentoring Coordinator for your county with any questions about the program.
- After your application has been received, an appointment will be made for you to interview with a New York State Mentoring Program Director.
- After your interview and screening process are complete, you will sign up to be trained as a Mentor. During the Mentoring training, you will learn about your role as a Mentor to help prevent children at risk of dropping out of school.
- A New York State Mentoring Program Director will match you with a Mentee at a nearby school and contact you about a start date.
The Honorable Matilda Raffa Cuomo’s life has been dedicated to service, as evidenced by her longstanding role as a respected and distinguished advocate on behalf of women, children, and families.
As First Lady of New York State (1983-1995), she diligently worked with state and elected officials and community leaders to establish programs to prevent child abuse, strengthen families, promote adoption for foster care children, and improve school absenteeism and retention. Her work has been invaluable and its impact can be felt even today. Mrs. Cuomo has been described as the most active First Lady in New York State’s history.
Mrs. Cuomo chaired and served as chief spokesperson for the New York State Decade of the Child initiative, co-chaired the Governor’s Commission on Child Care, and chaired the New York State Citizens Task Force on the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. In addition, Mrs. Cuomo led New York State’s participation in the United Nation’s 1990 World Summit for Children and the U.S. ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. She also traveled to Africa with Harry Belafonte on behalf of UNICEF and was associated with the Day of the African Child since its inception in 1990. In 1994, Mrs. Cuomo was invited to the Republic of Malta by the International Steering Committee of the United Nations to launch the International Year of the Family, and in 1997, she was invited by President Clinton and Colin Powell to participate in the President’s First Summit on Volunteerism. Also in 1997, Family Circle magazine selected Mrs. Cuomo as the Lifetime Achievement winner. She now serves as a lifetime National Assembly Board Member of the National American Cancer Society and as a Board Member of the President’s Council of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Mrs. Cuomo is a graduate of St. John’s University’s Teachers College, and resides in New York City.
In 1984, Mrs. Cuomo chaired the committee that established the nation’s first school-based one-to-one mentoring program. The highly successful New York State Mentoring Program screened and trained volunteers and matched them to children in their communities as a way to prevent high school drop-out. Before the program ended in 1995, it reached more than 10,000 students statewide, connecting thousands of adolescents to a network of highly trained mentors to help them succeed in school, to graduate, and to advance to the workplace as committed, socially responsible citizens.
In his 2015 State of the State address, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced New York State’s recommitment to mentoring by reestablishing The New York State Mentoring Program, chaired again by his mother, Mrs. Cuomo. Her leadership will help allow New York to once again lead the way in mentoring children toward successful outcomes with a renewed emphasis on one-to-one mentoring, innovative programming, and ongoing support for the needs of children in our state.
In October 2016, Mrs. Cuomo was awarded the very first Matilda Raffa Cuomo Humanitarian Award at the Midwood High School 75th Jubilee Gala, to not only honor her work with the New York State Mentoring Program, but also her lifelong commitment to helping students succeed and encouraging them to continue their education. Each year going forward, the award will be given to a Midwood High School student who best exemplifies Mrs. Cuomo’s qualities, intellect, and morals, and who uphold the values of perseverance, genuineness, and integrity.
Mrs. Matilda Raffa Cuomo, First Lady of New York State 1982-1995
Founder and Chair of The New York State Mentoring Program
Mitchell J. Auslander
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Executive Director, NYS Council on Children and Families (retired)
Former Regional Director- NYS Mentoring Program
Town Official, Town of Greenburgh, Westchester County
Healthy Directions, National Program Director, Healthy Children Healthy Futures
Frank Di Berardino
Director, National Bellamy Award Organization
Retired CEO of American Cancer Society Eastern Division
Baldwinsville Rotary Club President
NYS Cancer Prevention Council - Board member
NYS Health Research Board Member
YMCA - Board Member
Senior Vice President, Business Development and Strategic Partnerships
Albany Medical Center
Economist - International Consultant and Bank Advisor
Former International Banker and Professor
International Relations Chair to Lions Clubs International – DR2
Founder and former President of the NY Financial District Lions Club
Retired NYC Public Schools Superintendent
Former Deputy Commissioner, NYS Department of Motor Vehicles (retired)
Robert H. Samson
Founding Member of The New York State Mentoring Program
Matilda Raffa Cuomo
Founder & Chair
Eastern New York
Western New York
Long Island/Queens Director
New York City Director & Director of Training and Capacity Building
New York City, Mid-Hudson
New York City Regional Coordinator
New York City
New York City Regional Coordinator
New York City
Stephanie Ellen Parks
Central New York Regional Coordinator
Central NY, Southern Tier, North Country