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Here are a few things to understand about the role of mentoring before getting involved. Many of us have had a teacher, supervisor or coach who has been a mentor to us and made a positive impact in our lives. Those people acted as role models, cheerleaders, advocates, and friends.


Mentors often take up these diverse roles during the development of a relationship, and share some simple qualities:

  • A genuine need to be involved with a young person

  • Respect for young people

  • Active listening skills

  • Empathy

  • Ability to see solutions and opportunities

  • Flexibility



Mentoring promotes positive social attitudes and relationships. Mentored youth tend to trust their parents more and communicate better with them.

(The Role of Risk, 2013)

By being a reliable adult presence in a young person’s life mentors can offer advice, share life their experiences, and help a young person navigate challenges.

Youth who meet regularly with their mentors are:

46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs and 27% less likely to start drinking. (Public/Private Ventures study of Big Brothers Big Sisters)


Young adults who face an opportunity gap but have a mentor are: 81% more likely to participate regularly in sports or extracurricular activities than those who do not. (The Mentoring Effect, 2014)

Studies have shown that the strongest benefit from mentoring, and most consistent across risk groups, was a reduction in depressive symptoms particularly noteworthy given that almost one in four youth reported worrisome levels of these symptoms at baseline.

(The Role of Risk, 2013)



Mentoring relationships are a shared opportunity for learning and growth. Many mentors say that the rewards they gain are as substantial as those for their mentees, and that mentoring has enabled them to:

  • Have fun

  • Achieve personal growth and learn more about themselves

  • Improve their self-esteem and feel they are making a difference

  • Gain a better understanding of other cultures and develop a greater appreciation for diversity

  • Feel more productive and have a better attitude at work

  • Enhance their relationships with their own children

Above all, a good mentor is willing to take the time to get to know their mentee, to learn new things that are important to the young person, and even to be changed by their relationship.


Before you start to look at our programs that are available, think about and identify your own interests and needs.

The following steps will help walk you through the process of choosing a mentoring program that is right for you.


To help you decide which type of mentoring program you want, ask yourself the following questions:


What time commitment can I make?

What age of youth would I like to work with?

Would I like to work with one child or with a group of children?

Would I like to team with other adults to mentor a child or a group of children?

What types of activities interest me?


Do I want to help a youth learn a specific skill, pursue an interest, help with schoolwork or just be a caring adult friend?

What mentoring location would I prefer?

While thinking about these questions, remember to be open and flexible to all the different mentoring programs and focus areas that are out there.


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