For Immediate Release
November 23, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Kansas Announced Winner in
Snyder & Osborne's Coaches' Mentoring Challenge

More than 5,200 Kansans sign up to make a difference in the lives of our youth

TOPEKA, KS – November 23, 2009 – Kansas’ mentoring efforts celebrated this past Saturday as the state was announced the winner of the 2009 Coaches’ Mentoring Challenge at the K-State Nebraska football game in Lincoln.

The Challenge is an annual wager between former football rivals and current champions of mentoring, Coaches Bill Snyder (Kansas State University) and Tom Osborne (University of Nebraska) to see which state, Kansas or Nebraska, can recruit the most new mentors during the college football season. 

“Ensuring that the young people of Kansas have access to a caring and quality role model is something that I am deeply committed to,” Snyder, co-chair of Kansas Mentors, said. “I want to thank the thousands of Kansans that have joined me in this cause and are pledging to spend a few hours each month to help our young people reach their full potential.”

This marks the second year of the Coaches’ Mentoring Challenge.  In 2008, Kansas was announced the inaugural winner with more than 4,200 new mentors recruited.

Unfortunately, even with this surge of new mentor “recruits” there are still thousands of young people throughout the state that are in need of a mentor.

“In some areas of the state, mentoring programs are reporting a 10-15% decrease in the number of volunteers from last year,” Snyder said.  “It is important that Kansans know: you don’t have to change your life to make a difference in the life of a young person and you will very likely find mentoring to be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.”

Kansas Mentors, Kansas’ coordinator of the Challenge, is partnered with more than 175 mentoring programs throughout the state.  To view a list of programs or to sign up to mentor, visit the Kansas Mentors website at www.kansasmentors.org or call 785-296-8873.