MENTOR Announces 2024 Winners of Excellence in Mentoring Awards

Recipients Receive Awards at 2024 National Mentoring Summit in Washington, D.C.

MENTOR, the nation's unifying champion of the mentoring movement, has announced the recipients of the annual Excellence in Mentoring Awards, which honor individuals and organizations from across the United States that have made tremendous contributions to young people and to the mentoring field. The awards were presented from January 24-26 during the National Mentoring Summit, MENTOR's annual convening of more than 2,000 experts, practitioners, advocates and philanthropic partners.

This year’s winners were selected from a historically competitive pool of nominees from around the country. They are:

Lifetime Achievement Award, given to an individual who has dedicated their life’s work to supporting youth through mentoring programs: Darlene Marlin, New York 

Darlene Marlin is the Vice President of Access and Opportunity in the Education & Youth Development Division of the National Urban League. She directs the League’s portfolio of K-16 programs and has decades of experience across the educational continuum, from early childhood to high school transition programs.

Corporate Youth Leadership Award, given to a young person (up to age 26) who participates or recently participated in a corporate mentoring program or initiative and showed great leadership potential: Serena Patel, Oregon

Serena Patel is a Marketing and Customer Success Specialist at Dreami, a groundbreaking software platform revolutionizing career development, and an MBA candidate at Southern Oregon University. Patel leads a women’s corporate mentoring program that has positively impacted more than 2,000 individuals.

Public Elevation Award, given to an influencer who uses their public platform to support mentoring opportunities for youth: Calvin T. Mann, Michigan

Calvin T. Mann, the “National Encourager,” is the Founder and President of Encourage Me I’m Young, a nonprofit which centers on restoring and strengthening the family structure through developing boys and encouraging fathers using prevention and intervention activities. He is also a facilitator, co-host of the podcast Put Your Family First, mentor, coach, author, and community activist.

Public Service Award, given to individuals at both the federal and the state/local level as champions in the public sector who support the mission of mentoring: The Honorable Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island, U.S. Senate, and Mayor Cavalier Johnson, City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has earned a reputation in the Senate as a thoughtful legislator capable of reaching across the aisle to achieve bipartisan solutions. He has been a steadfast supporter of the mentoring movement, advocating to secure grant funding for MENTOR Rhode Island from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, serving as one of the lead sponsors of the 2018 bipartisan overhaul of the federal juvenile justice system, and offering internships in his congressional office to MENTOR Rhode Island mentees.

Mayor Cavalier Johnson took office as Acting Mayor of the City of Milwaukee in late 2021 and was elected as the city’s forty-fifth chief executive and first Black Mayor in April of 2022. A former mentee himself, Mayor Johnson has supported the mentoring movement in office by supporting a policy that gives city employees paid time off to mentor, supporting MENTOR Greater Milwaukee through city funding and event attendance, and uplifting the importance of mentoring and MENTOR Greater Milwaukee’s work in his inauguration speech.


MENTOR is the unifying champion for expanding the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships across the United States. More than 30 years ago, MENTOR was created to expand opportunities for young people by building a youth mentoring field and movement. Today, MENTOR is the expert voice representing a movement that meets young people everywhere they are – from schools, to workplaces, and beyond. MENTOR operates in collaboration with 25 local Affiliates across the country. For more information, visit


Source: MENTOR


MENTOR is the national unifying champion for expanding the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships for young people. In collaboration with 24 Affiliates across the country, MENTOR aims to drive equity and close the mentoring gap.

201 South Street , #Suite 615
Boston, MA


More Press Releases