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Mentoring Matters Conference

On March 31, 2023, we celebrated and centered community at the 20th Virtual Mentoring Matters Conference—New York’s premier convening for mentoring and youth development practitioners. The conference covered best and innovative practices in the field, addressed emerging challenges, and explored how to authentically amplify youth voice while truly showing up for young people.

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Keynote & Youth Panels

To lift voices in our field.

Centering on authentic relationship-driven approaches with equity and joy as the foundation.

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Practice-Based Workshops

To reflect on, inform, and develop practice.


Practitioners apply knowledge to real-life situations through case studies and professional discussion.


Breakout Sessions
To elevate promising practices in the field.

 Attendees have the opportunity to come together to discuss workshop learnings and how to implement them within their organizations.  

I felt as if what was said during the conference was so validating for us, to have outside sources saying things about how important it is for organizations to prioritize youth voice and choice.

Zoë Auerbach, Program Manager, CHIME and Young Leaders

2023 Program



Morning Plenary | 9 - 9:40 AM

Keynote Q&A with Reggie Love
Amelia and Reggie explored how mentors shaped Reggie’s career, how we can best engage young people in the workplace, and what program practitioners should consider when recruiting mentors.

Morning Panel | 9:40 - 10:25 AM
Celebrating & Centering Youth & Community
Focusing on the power of meeting the youth and community you serve "where they are at," this dynamic panel discussed engagement practices, messaging, and youth-led approaches that center the particular needs, strengths, and desires of community members to effectively cultivate meaningful and transformational relationships.


Workshops | 10:35 - 11:45 AM
Four workshops explored topics ranging from mentoring young people who have experienced trauma, to impactful storytelling to build connections. Presenters:

  • Lia Taylor Harper, Connections Mentor Inc.

  • Gina Patterson, Boston Medical Center

  • Chotsani Williams West, Adelphi University

  • Daniel Russell, Bridge the Gap

Keynote Fireside Chat | 11:55 AM - 12 :40 PM

Mentor Recruitment — What's It Gonna Take?
MENTOR New York CEO Brenda Jimenez and speakers Joie Golomb, Gary Bagley, and Claudia Espinosa discussed current trends in mentor recruitment, considerations since the start of the pandemic, and what it takes to effectively engage and sustain volunteers.

Open Space Conversation | 12:40 - 1 PM

Open Spaces allowed conference attendees to network, meet each other and reflect on and share learnings from the morning sessions.


Workshops | 1:30 - 2:40 PM

Three workshops focused on working with different populations and communities. Presenters:

  • Douglas Marquee, Educator & Behavioral Specialist

  • NancyO'Donnell, Usher Syndrome Coalition

  • Mike Fagbemi, National Center on Deaf-Blindness

  • Gi Swords & Faith Winship, GLYS WNY


Open Space Conversation | 2:45 - 3:05 PM
Open Spaces allowed conference attendees to network, meet each other and reflect on and share learnings from the morning and afternoon sessions.


Youth Panel | 3:05 - 3:50 PM

Creating a Youth Advisory Council at Solar One
To close out the conference, we were joined by the inspiring young creators of Solar One’s Youth Advisory Council (the YAC), who spoke about the creation, management, and benefits of building a youth board. Check out the MENTOR New York blog for a sneak peek at the making of their program.


Past Speaker Highlights

This conference was definitely a reminder for me that we need to incorporate our students’ voices in projects within our organization.

Dan Gonzalez, Program Associate, Minds Matter NYC

Past Event Sponsors


Convened by


Presenting Sponsor


Gold Sponsor


Silver Sponsor


University Partners

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