Friday, January 28, 2011

Chicago Mentee Introduces First Lady Michelle Obama at National Mentoring Summit in Washington, DC

“Well, there you go. And that's what the South Side of Chicago produces. Well done. Thank you, Deneen, for that outstanding introduction.” –First Lady Michelle Obama

Deneen Beatrice Borner, a spirited 15 year-old freshman from Harlan Community Academy High School in Chicago, was chosen to travel to Washington, DC to represent the Polished Pebbles mentoring program at the 2011 National Mentoring Summit held at the Library of Congress on January 25, 2011 hosted by MENTOR, The Harvard Mentoring Project and the US Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The outstanding young lady is a mentee in the Mentoring USA - Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program, supported by Bloomingdale's mentors in Chicago.

Deneen had the honor of introducing First Lady Michelle Obama, to which she stated, “Well, there you go. And that's what the South Side of Chicago produces. Well done. Thank you, Deneen, for that outstanding introduction.”

Deneen is a confident and active participant in her classes and after school programs. Her interests include community service, swimming and track. The Mentoring USA - Polished Pebbles mentoring framework provides girls with the opportunity to learn the vital life skills of effective communication. It provides girls with non-violent and non-aggressive means to self-identify, respond to threats of violence and interpersonal-conflict and handle the challenges of daily living. As a part of Mentoring USA, Polished Pebbles is proud to present the Bloomingdale's Brown Bag Apprentice program. Bloomingdale's Chicago employees serve as mentors participating in activities such as job shadowing, "Take Your Polished Pebbles to Work Day," community building day, store tour, book club, mock interviews and school visits. During all the activities, girls develop personal relationships with Bloomingdale's employee mentors, put their communication skills to use and gain confidence to become leaders of their time.

Bloomingdale's has been supporting national non-profit Mentoring USA since 1999 when the company launched the associate mentoring program in New York and has since expanded to Chicago, California and Washington DC. Earlier in the day, a mentor, Richard Pittelli, from the Mentoring USA Bloomingdale's NY program partnership with PS-59, received the "Corporate Mentor of the Year Award." Bloomingdale's is proud of Deneen's accomplishments and was thrilled to dress her for the speech introduction. She wore a Lauren by Ralph Lauren dress with a black DKNY bow sweater. Photo:

About the National Mentoring Summit: At the first-ever National Mentoring Summit, First Lady Michelle Obama lauded the commitment of more than 17 U.S. corporations to expand or create mentoring programs that increase graduation rates among America's youth and position them for success. The Corporate Mentoring Challenge, an initiative led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, encourages companies to launch a mentoring program, expand existing employee mentoring programs or provide resources to support local mentoring programs that help youth gain leadership skills, achieve their educational goals and increase their confidence. For more information, visit

Upcoming Mentoring Event: New York

To mark the end of National Mentoring Month, the Open Society Institute (OSI), in conjunction with the Harlem Educational Activities Fund, the Mentoring Success Center of Communities in Schools of New Jersey, Mentoring USA and the Children's Defense Fund Black Community Crusade for Children, will host a panel discussion to identify how the expansion of faith, community, and workplace mentoring strategies can effectively respond to the crises facing young people in black communities across America.

The evening will feature mentor/mentee pairs profiles, a "Who Mentored You" open mic session, spoken word artists, jazz trumpeter (an Open Society staff member) Joe Moffet, and more. Attendees will have the opportunity to register to become a mentor with one of the following organizations: Harlem Educational Activities Fund, Mentoring USA and the Mentoring Success Center of Communities in Schools of New Jersey.

Speakers will include:
Stephen Powell, Executive Director, Mentoring USA
Thomas Owens, Director, Communities in Schools of New Jersey Mentoring Success Center
Shawn Dove, Campaign Director, Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Open Society Institute
Danielle Lee Moss, Ed.D., Executive Director, Harlem Educational Activities Fund
Reverend Emma Jordan Simpson, Executive Director, Children's Defense Fund-New York (co-moderator)
Melvin Hall, Mentor, Trinity Faith Based Mentoring Project
Aaron Brooks, Student and Mentee, Communities in Schools of New Jersey Performance Learning Center

Location: OSI-New York
Event Date: January 31, 2011
Event Time: 5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
For more information and to RSVP:

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