NEWARK, NJ -- Youth from Newark and New York City rang in a new decade of trading on Thursday with the NASDAQ opening bell ceremony.

The youth represented various mentoring organizations, as January is also National Mentoring Month. 

MENTOR, The National Mentoring Partnership and two of its local affiliates, MENTOR Newark and MENTOR New York, joined with a dozen young people and mentors from local mentoring programs to kick off the annual celebration of mentoring relationships.

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MENTOR Newark is formerly the Newark Mentoring Movement. Thomas Owens, MENTOR Newark executive director, said the organization has a mentor collaborative in acting as an accelerator for 25 mentoring organizations in Newark. 

"It was a great opportunity that we could provide for the young people here," Owens said of the day at NASDAQ.

Newark mentoring programs were represented at the NASDAQ opening bell ceremony by members of SHE Wins Inc., Girl Scouts Troop 20134 of Newark's South Ward and Girls; Live, Love, Laugh. Owens said those three organizations, in particular, are active with MENTOR Newark, though the rest of the Newark organizations will have future opportunities.

Owens hopes the event will become an annual occurrence.

"It was super cool, I've never done this before," said Erin Sweeney, Girl Scout Leader of Girl Scout Group 20134. Samiyah Webster, a sophomore at Bard High School Early College Newark, and Gloria Colon of Newark's Technology High School were invited to the day's festivities, though Colon could not attend. 

National Mentoring Month is the largest-scale mentoring campaign nationwide. The month is a time to reflect on the growth of the mentoring movement, recognize successful real-life mentoring relationships and offer another opportunity to thank inspirational mentors. 

It is also a major moment to recruit new mentors for the thousands of mentoring programs serving young people nationwide.

David Shapiro, MENTOR CEO, calls on all adults to step up and join the mentoring movement by visiting to become a mentor, to advocate and to donate. Guests can also visit

Watch the ceremony and full remarks here.