Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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Chief Pyle Signs ‘National Mentoring Month’ Proclamation

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

For more information please contact:
Judy Allen, Executive Director of Public Relations
judy.allen@choctawnation.com
580-924-8280 ext. 2249
529 N. 16th
Durant, OK 74702

DURANT, Okla. (January 12, 2010) -– Today, Chief Gregory E. Pyle signed a proclamation declaring January 2010 as “National Mentoring Month” for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Earlier this month, President Barack Obama signed the National Mentoring Month Proclamation for the United States. The proclamation states that “the future of the Choctaw Nation rests on the hopes and dreams of its children and youth. Mentors offer valuable encouragement, motivation and hope for our youth by providing a consistent role model.v

“Research has shown mentored youth are 52% less likely to skip a day of school, 46% less likely to start using drugs and 27% less likely to start drinking. Relationships with caring mentors offer youth valuable encouragement, motivation and support to guide them toward making positive choices.

“Collaborative mentor programs that are supported by the entire community (i.e. the local chamber, local law enforcement, service clubs, local media organizations, etc.) are more visible and therefore more successful. National Mentoring Month provides an opportunity to recognize and commend the efforts of these programs and raise community awareness of the importance of mentoring.”

According to Chief Pyle, “The Choctaw Nation has several ongoing mentoring programs in place. At the Jones Academy, we have the “Learn and Serve” program that puts youth in leadership roles. They volunteer for “Adopt a Highway,” visit nursing homes and serve as ‘Big Brothers-Big Sisters’ to the younger children.

“We also offer peer advisors on campuses across the state to mentor Choctaw students as they adjust to life on college campus. Additionally, our Summer Youth Work Program assists in finding summer jobs and opportunities for youth aged 14-21,” said Chief Pyle.

By designating a specific month to highlight the need for mentors in the community, Chief Pyle hopes more adults will step forward to be a positive role model for a child.

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