HONORING MENTORS AND SUPPORTING EFFORTS TO RECRUIT MENTORS -- (House of Representatives - January 21, 2004)
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Mr. BOEHNER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Nebraska (Mr. Osborne) and the sponsor of this resolution for the time and congratulate him for his leadership on the very important issue of mentoring.
As he pointed out very rightly, many children in America need the help and support that many times they do not get at home, and the gentleman from Nebraska (Mr. Osborne) has led the efforts over the 3 years that he has been here in Congress to bring our attention to the need for more mentors, and probably no one in the Congress is more qualified to talk about the need for mentors than someone who mentored a young man on the football field for many years.
But beyond his prowess as a coach and mentor of a lot of young men, the gentleman from Nebraska (Mr. Osborne) spent much time around his State of Nebraska helping to establish mentoring programs there, and during the years he has been in Congress, has continued his efforts, and I want to congratulate him for all of his work.
Mentors do provide affirmation and a guidepost for many children who do not get affirmation and do not get the kind of guidance that they need. I know in my home State of Ohio we have a program called Ohio Reads. Many schools in my district have grants where it is a mentoring-based program to help children who need help in reading, and many people throughout my community and communities throughout my district and the State mentor in many schools to help young people achieve more proficiency in their reading.
Here in Washington and other cities around America, there is a program called Everybody Wins, and here in Washington, that program involves many staffers here on Capitol Hill and Members who read to children in various schools throughout the city. I am proud that many of my staff, both of my committee staff and my personal staff, are mentors to young people, again trying to help them read and to provide guidance for them.
One of those mentors is my assistant in my office, Amy Hobart, who for 5 years, has read to a young girl at Tyler Elementary School here on Capitol Hill, and the child has her share of problems, but every week, Amy goes over there and spends an hour helping that young lady master her reading skills. But those are just several mere examples of the millions of Americans who do, in fact, volunteer.
The last point that I would make is that many of us as Members, as we go around our districts and around the country, people always ask, well, what can I do, what can I do to help, and everybody in America has something to offer to some young person in America. So I would suggest to my fellow Americans that they can volunteer, whether it is reading to someone, whether it is going to a Boys Club or Girls Club, whether it is going to a juvenile detention facility. There are many ways that the people can help, and I would urge them to do that.
I congratulate my colleague for bringing this resolution to the floor today.
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