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March 22, 2006

Partnership Raises New Yorkers’ Awareness of the Need for Mentors through Fashion, Music and High Tech

The Administration for Children’s Services’ Central Mentoring Office and New York City-based marketing company UrbanMentor have partnered to launch The Mentoring the Next Generation Campaign (MNGC). The unique promotion and recruitment campaign is designed to focus New Yorkers’ attention on mentoring and youth service organizations throughout the five boroughs and the various ways that ordinary New Yorkers’ can make extraordinary contributions to the lives of NYC youth. MGNC will use contemporary popular culture in the areas of entertainment, fashion and Internet technology to promote a culture of service through mentoring. The year long promotion’s large scale recruitment events will include concerts, parties, mixers and fashion shows.

“We know that having just one caring adult in a child’s life increases his or her chances for success exponentially. Without that one person, every young person is potentially left at risk,” said ACS Commissioner John B. Mattingly. “Only five percent of New York City children currently have formal mentors. The Mentoring the Next Generation Campaign is a way to get the word out so that every child has a chance to have a living role model in his or her life.”

The kickoff event of the campaign will be the Harlem Mentoring Movement Showcase on Wednesday, March 22, from 6:30 p.m.-11:00 p.m. at Harlem’s hottest night spot, The Cherry Lounge, located at 454 West 128th Street (between Amsterdam and Convent Avenues). The MNGC Showcase will include a variety of talents from various disciplines, ethnicities and styles. There will be live performances by singers, rappers and spoken word artists Fusion, Trevanne, The Dugout, Queen Godis and IHSAN – all of whom are also mentors. Each act will speak, rhyme or sing about their mentoring experience before performing. The theme of mentoring will be amply recognized and artists will perform works that are most relevant to this compelling theme. This showcase will bring teachers, youth workers, artists and other young professionals together to network for the cause of mentoring.

“Behind every successful person is a mentor who encouraged and inspired them to greater heights. To be successful, every child needs a mentor in his or her life,” said UrbanMentor founder Duval James. “If we don’t form supportive relationships with youth and encourage their gifts and interests, society at large stands to lose many of our greatest minds. Thanks to the many artists who are donating their time to make this campaign a success, we can expand and enhance quality mentoring opportunities citywide for all of New York City’s children and youth.”

Research has shown that young people with mentors are more likely to have greater self-esteem and feel hopeful about their future than their peers who do not have mentors. As a result, these children are less likely to use illegal drugs and alcohol or skip school, and are more likely to enroll in college and give back to the community by getting involved in community service.

For more information, please call the ACS Central Mentoring Hotline at 212/341-0914 or visit or contact UrbanMentor by calling 212/729-7785, emailing, or visiting




HP Press Office Linnette Shaw: 917 546 6633

September22, 2006



Five years ago Duval Osiris James stood at the intersection of 110th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard praying for inspiration. It was three months after September 11th and like many from the Wall Street workforce who were once flush, he found himself without work and worse still, without purpose. He, like so many after the 9/11 attacks felt robbed, shocked, and deeply saddened. Two boys crossed his path asking if he had a dollar to spare. Deep in thought he dismissed them and let them pass. Then a light opened in his heart, traveled to his mind, and he caught up with the two boys and asked, “What makes you think that getting money is as easy as asking a stranger for it on the street?” In the ensuing conversation the boys shared their plans to make lots of money as basketball players or rappers, like their idols. Otherwise, they would work in the NYC sewer system because they heard from an older adult that it “paid a lot of money”.

Despite his present state of uncertainty about his own future, Osiris began to explain to the boys that they had missed a host of career options available to them besides rap, basketball, and sanitation. It was then that James experienced the monumental moment that changed the course of his life. He realized that these boys did not lack imagination or ambition as much as they lacked guidance and exposure. They had no one to show them convincingly how to forge or discover their unique career paths. They yearned to follow in someone’s footsteps. They needed mentors. But not just any mentors; they needed mentors who could speak their language - UrbanMentors. Though Osiris had been playing around with the idea of UrbanMentor for a year or so prior to his conversation with these young boys, he believes that it was in that moment that the haunting question “What do I do now?” was finally answered.

Since then, Osiris, founder and CEO of UrbanMentor (UM), has been working as a tireless and visionary advocate for the cause of mentoring which is an often overlooked youth development industry with a highly successful track record. After seeking guidance from his own mentors, Osiris brought together executive directors from various mentoring and youth development organizations to discuss what could be done to better reach mentors, especially African-American and Latino males. What became clear was that the mentoring organizations needed to spice up their recruitment campaigns.

The UrbanMentor (UM) Movement, Osiris’ unorthodox method of promoting the mentoring cause, is more P. Diddy than Mother Theresa. In fact, UrbanMentor is not a mentoring organization at all, but a socially responsible brand that promotes mentoring through its online communication, music, fashion line, parties, shows, and college tours. So, you have to think about UM as the marketing, promotions or recruitment arm for the mentoring industry. With this approach UM could prove invaluable to the nation’s severely shorthanded mentoring organizations. Osiris intends to do for mentoring what Diddy did for voting in the 2004 election - make mentoring hot! After attending one of UM’s concerts and recruitment events HP magazine caught up with this social entrepreneur to find out just how he intends to make it happen.

HP: As a company, what is UrbanMentor and the UM Movement about?

Osiris: Generally it’s about the generation X and Hip-Hop generation coming of age and emerging as the central force to reach our youth and promote a socially responsible culture of service in Urban America. Our commitment is to market and promote mentoring using the same approach that Hip-Hop labels or any pop-culture brand would use to capture attention and communicate their values. UM’s business model is designed to effectively blend Hip-Hop culture with the mentoring cause to establish and promote a positive youth culture through fashion, entertainment, and technology. I believe that the challenge and opportunity of reaching our youth is the great charge of our generation.

HP: You’ve mentioned Hip-Hop labels and pop-culture “Brand.” What does any of that have to do with mentoring?

Osiris: Our generation responds to brands and branding. Media, fashion, music, these are our tools for building the UM Movement. The UM brand is our trademarked product line. It consists of several elements including a T-shirt line, which will grow into a full clothing line, a website,, which is being expanded into a networking portal, and an entertainment company. We are also working on a magazine that will launch in the fall of 2007.

HP: Why would the mentoring industry need an official brand or an UM Movement?

Osiris: Let me firs - HP Magazine


To read biographies on participating artists go to



Creating a socially responsible culture.

UrbanMentor (UM) is dedicated to using dynamic and popular methods to promote mentoring and engage next generation in developing the personal leadership skills necessary to succeed in the global marketplace. UrbanMentor bridges the gap between the E-generation’s affinity for pop culture and the need for mentors to help navigate the path ahead. In 2005 UM launched the Mentoring the Next Generation Campaign (MNGC). This recruitment campaign produced innovative, large scale recruitment concerts, after work networking events, and workshops in conjunction with key organizations in the mentoring and youth development sector in New York City. UrbanMentor has taken the mentoring cause and transformed it into a highly visible urban pop culture movement.


FutureNow College Tour is an experiential interactive multimedia production that promotes inspiration and personal leadership over escapism and mediocrity to college students. The tour is designed to motivate students to develop and sustain their personal leadership skills. The tour features a personal leadership workshop and forum entitled "Lead or Die" and a broadway like artist showcase element featuring socially responsible artists of various genres. The purpose of each event is to utilize popular culture, the arts, and experiential learning processes to educate students about personal leadership and accountability. Produced in full partnership with the university’s on-campus and community-based groups, the tour's goal is to leave students inspired by their futures and with structures in place to aid them in improving their grades and defining their own destiny.


The goal of the FutureNow Tour is to inspire students to institute the vital art of personal leadership in their education and professional lives. The FutureNow Tour will empower students with the tools of leadership necessary for success in school and in the new global economy. Our unique offering takes into account the changing affinities, impulses, interests and work habits of the hip-hop influenced, e-generation student.


The Personal Leadership Seminar combines popular culture analysis with exploration and instruction in personal leadership and accountability. “Lead or Die” is designed to be highly interactive, instructional and inspirational. It provides students with advanced strategies to lead themselves and others to extraordinary levels of productivity and success. The seminar is built on the knowledge that the nation has reached a strategic infliction point, where everything about how business is conducted has changed due to technological, societal, and/or economic advances. It is designed to presence the hip-hop minded, internet-generation to the challenges and opportunities of the new digital economy. Being comfortable with the tools of this digital world is not enough. Now, personal leadership, commitment, and integrity are more important than ever. In this Google, You Tube and Myspace ruled information age students will have to learn how to be enterprising leaders and architects of their own destinies.


This Broadway-like production features UM artists who sing with graceful reality, present heart knocking rhythmic monologues, concoct true to life comedy and streetwise dance acrobatics. They make their art for the new generation of patrons who choose bravery over bravado and honesty over explicit lyrics. UM is bringing artists with powerful messages to the stage. Without being preachy and disconnected, these artists presence audiences to the ever changing conditions of our existence and to our collective responsibility to aid in the success of humanity.


1. Learn fundamental personal leadership skills
2. Learn how to master the key communication skills, beliefs, and thought processes necessary to get to the next level in school and in the global job marketplace.
3. Begin to conquer the fears and habits which keep them from taking leadership initiative
4. Learn how to produce a quantum difference in their grades.
5. Build personal leadership plans which can be used for success in college and beyond.
6. Begin working to condition their minds and bodies to consistently operate inside of intention.
7. Learn creative digital communication methods and strategies.
8. Register to practice their personal leadership plans with one on one e-mentor.
9. Become present to the importance of their lives and their day to day operations.

The FutureNow Tour is designed as a complete program. All program components are intended to work together for maximum benefit however the components can function separately if necessary.