Advantages of Mentoring for Young People

Mentoring is typically a part of a program which includes additional elements, including tutoring, life skills development and coach. The positive, healthy connections that are formed between mentors and mentees is lasting and immediate. They can bring a myriad of benefits for mentors as well as their mentees.

Youth benefits:

Graduation rates for high schools have increased.
Rates of dropout from lower high schools
Healthy relationships and better lifestyle choices
A better attitude towards school
Higher college enrollment rates , and more educational goals
Increased self-esteem and self-confidence
Better behavior at home as well as at school.
More positive connections with parents, teachers as well as peers
Enhanced interpersonal abilities
Reduced risk of starting drinking or using drugs (MENTOR 2009 ) Cavell, DuBois, Karcher, Keller, & Rhodes 2009)

Potential Educational Benefits

More academically successful. A study from 1995 on the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) program revealed that children with mentors received higher marks than the same group of youngsters who didn’t have instructors (Tierny, Grossman, & Resch 1995). In addition, the study from 2007 of the program showed that children that participated in programs for school-based mentorship performed better in classes, scored higher academically (especially in writing as well as oral communications) and were able to complete higher levels of tasks than peers who didn’t have mentors. The results, though positive, were of a small size and didn’t last through the next school year (Herrera, Grossman, Kauh, Feldman, McMaken, and Jucovy, 2007,). While an increase in school performance is identified through studies on the mentoring program, Jekielek, Moore and Hair (2002) reveal that research on mentorship programs have not shown consistently improved academic outcomes.

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More attendance at school. Students with mentors were less likely to miss class than students with no the support of a mentor (Tierny, Grossman, Resch 2000, Herrera, Grossman, Kauh, Feldman, McMaken and Jucovy 2007). For instance, students who participated with the Across Ages mentoring program showed gains of more than one week of class attendance when compared to youth not enrolled with the mentor program (Jekielek and co. 2002).

Positive attitudes. Teachers of students who participated in BELONG’s BELONG mentoring program reported that students involved in mentoring activities were more active in their classes and were more likely to attach a greater importance on school than those without the support of mentors (Blakely, Menon, & Jones 1995).

Potential Behavioral Benefits

Reduced risk of starting drinking and using illegal drugs. A BBBS study revealed that children who had guides were more likely start using alcohol or drugs in the 18-month time frame of the study in comparison to peers. Particularly, 6.2 percent of youth with mentors started using drugs as compared with 11.4 percent of their peers who had no mentors. Likewise, 19.4 percent started using alcohol as opposed with 26.7 percent. These results were higher when it came to minority youth (Tierny and co. 1995). Results from a study of the Across Ages mentoring program showed that the mentees learned essential life skills that help to stay clear of drug use (LoSciuto, Rajala, Townsend, & Taylor 1996).

Reduced violence. Mentees of the BBBS program had a lower probability of 32 percent to say they had hit anyone in the past year than young people with no mentors (Tierny and Co. 1995). Jekielek et al. (2002) discovered the four mentorship programs had decreases in certain behaviors that are related to negative and delinquent behaviors however, they did not completely remove all of the delinquent behavior.

Other Benefits Potentially

Mentoring has been associated in studies to emotional and social development advantages, improved perceptions of parent-child relationships, and improved chances of moving towards higher education.

Benefits of mentors:

Improved self-esteem
A feeling of satisfaction
Networks of volunteers are created.
A look at the stages of childhood, adolescence and early adulthood
More patience and better abilities to supervise (U.S. Department of Labour, n.d.)

Mentoring can assist young people when they are going through difficult life transitions, like having to deal with stress-inducing family changes or the transition to adulthood. A healthy, close, and mutually supportive relationships between mentors as well as the mentees for a significant amount period of time (i.e. more than a year) are essential to the success of a mentoring program. Without them mentorship programs could end up hurting children who are in a relationship with mentors that aren’t equipped to fulfill the needs of the mentees. Particularly, mentor relationships which last less than three months; when there is a lack of consistency and irregular contact; when there is a gap between the personality, interests and expectations of mentors and mentees. mentors are not prepared and do not have the abilities to communicate with youth and there isn’t any emotional connection between mentor and mentee has been shown to be harmful for youth.