GOVERNOR BUSH DELIVERS KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT TEEN TRENDSETTERS ANNUAL MENTORING SUMMIT
ORLANDO - In the keynote address delivered today at the Teen Trendsetterstm Reading Mentors summit in Orlando, Governor Jeb Bush praised more than 200 teen leaders for their willingness to lead their communities in mentoring. Prior to the luncheon address, Governor Bush met with the leadership of the Florida Mentoring Partnership to encourage members to continue the great strides in mentoring.
"I applaud these ambitious students and the program's volunteer coordinators for developing strong mentoring programs in our state," said Governor Bush. "All our Teen Trendsetters are helping children learn to read. Mentors are an integral part of education in our state."
Teens Trendsetters from across Florida are selected to recruit their peers in mentoring third-graders in reading. The annual summit provides mentoring and leadership instruction to teens who will lead the program in their high schools this year. This year 225 teens attended the summit, representing the 48 Florida counties in which the program is currently active. The program was jointly developed by Florida Trend's NEXT magazine for teens and the nonprofit Volunteer Florida Foundation. Launched in 2002 with just 30 teens, more than 1,500 active Trendsetters are expected to participate this year.
Prior to the luncheon, Governor Bush attended the Florida Mentoring Partnership's Advocacy Council meeting and encouraged the members to keep mentoring strong in Florida by developing plans to continue the yearly increase in mentors and continue improving the quality of mentoring. Governor Bush launched the state's mentoring movement in 1999 through the Governor's Mentoring Initiative, now known as the Florida Mentoring Partnership. Each year, the number of active mentors in Florida has increased, totaling 206,292 active mentors this past year. The Partnership is a consortium of mentoring organizations, government leaders and corporate leaders committed to keeping Florida at the forefront of mentoring. It is managed by the Volunteer Florida Foundation.
The annual Teen Trendsetters summit is funded by private donors committed to mentoring. This year's sponsors include AAA Auto Club South, the Florida Lottery, Cingular, Comcast, Universal Orlando, Golin Harris, Cooper DDB and Scholastic. The Teen Trendsetters program is operated in cooperation with the Florida Department of Education's Just Read, Florida! initiative.
Governor Bush was joined at the luncheon address by Lt. Governor Toni Jennings; Senator Daniel Webster; Liza McFadden, President of Volunteer Florida Foundation; Kevin Bakewell, Senior Vice President of AAA Auto Club South and the summit's premier sponsor; Lynda Keever, publisher of Florida Trend and Florida Trend's NEXT magazines and Pastor Angel Rios, who delivered today's invocation.
For more information on the Teen Trendsetter program, please visit http://www.flamentoring.org.