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The National CARES Mentoring Movement was founded in 2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, as Essence CARES while Susan L. Taylor was chief editor of Essence magazine, which she led for 27 years. The mission of the National CARES Mentoring Movement is to transform the lives of Black children by inspiring, recruiting and mobilizing masses of caring Black men and women to mentor and nourish them.
CARES is the recognized national leader in the recruitment, training and engagement of Black mentors. Our programs address the severe shortfall of Black mentors nationally, and we are sought after by hundreds of organizations that look to us for desperately needed trained and committed volunteers. Our local CARES Affiliate network, in 58 U.S. cities, recruits and connects caring volunteers to schools and local-youth serving organizations in severely under-resourced communities throughout the nation that been disrupted by poverty, hopelessness and violence. In addition CARES runs placed-based large group-mentoring programs to ensure that disconnected youngsters who are most at risk of dropping out of school graduate and are prepared to succeed in college or industrial-training programs and 21st-century careers.