International Mentoring Day Date in the current year: January 17, 2024

International Mentoring Day International Mentoring Day is celebrated annually on January 17. This observance was created to educate the general public about mentoring and its importance, promote the global mentoring movement, and encourage people to show appreciation to their mentors, past and present.

A mentor is a person who provides help and advice to a less experienced, often younger person called a mentee. The process of guiding, encouraging, and motivating the mentee is called mentoring or mentorship. Mentorship is different from coaching in that a mentor provides more direct guidance and instruction than a coach, among other things.

The history of mentorship can be traced back to antiquity. The practice of mentoring existed as early as ancient Greece, and the word “mentor” derives from the name of a character in Homer’s Odyssey. Mentor was an old friend of Odysseus’s whom he left in charge of his son Telemachus before leaving for the Trojan War. The first use of the term “mentor” in its modern sense dates back to the late 17th century.

Historic examples of mentoring include discipleship systems practiced in some religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Rabbinical Judaism and Christianity, and apprenticeship in medieval guilds. In the modern world, mentoring is practiced in various environments, including workplaces, educational establishments, informal settings, and more.

Mentoring is beneficial to both the mentee and their mentor. Mentees gain knowledge, skills and experience in a comfortable environment, get networking opportunities, and have someone who motivates them not to give up, while mentors get to improve their communication and leadership skills and give back to their company, community, or society in general.

The history of International Mentoring Day began in 2002, when MENTOR teamed up with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to launch National Mentoring Month. MENTOR is a non-profit organization that strives to build a youth mentoring field and develop a mentoring movement in the United States.

In 2016, MENTOR launched International Mentoring Day. The date of January 16 was chosen to commemorate the birth anniversary and honor the legacy of Muhammad Ali, a renowned professional boxer, entertainer, and activist who was a mentor to his family members, friends, and numerous fans around the world. The inaugural International Mentoring Day was observed on January 16, 2017.

How can you join the celebration of International Mentoring Day? There are many ways to raise awareness about mentoring and celebrate mentors. You can learn more about the benefits of mentoring (which is a win-win situation for both the mentee and the mentor), read a book or watch a documentary about a famous person whom others consider a mentor, reach out to the people you consider your mentors and thank them for everything they’ve done for you, find someone to mentor, get involved in or at least donate to a mentorship organization, etc. And don’t forget to share your positive experiences as a mentor or a mentee on social media with the hashtags #InternationalMentoringDay and #MentoringDay to spread the word.

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International Observances, Professional Days


International Mentoring Day, international observances, professional observances, mentoring, mentorship