School Based Mentoring
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Is Mentoring Right for You?

A mentor is simply a caring, adult friend who devotes time to a young person. Although mentors can serve in a number of ways, all mentors have a purpose of helping young people to discover their strengths and reach their potential. It is important to note that a mentor does not take the place of a parent, teacher, and/or counselor in the young person’s life. Successful mentors understand their roles and limitations in building positive relationships with young people.

The Turn•Around Agenda (TTA) has created a comprehensive school-based mentoring program for public schools that builds relationships with students in the context of tutoring, moral character development and family involvement.

To help you understand more about this rewarding and challenging experience, we have put together some facts that will help you make an informed decision to be or not to be a mentor.

Positive outcomes of school-based mentoring are…
  • 64% of the students developed more positive attitudes toward school
  • 58% achieved higher grades in social studies, languages, and math
  • 60% improved relationships with adults, and 56% improved relationships with peers
  • 55% were better able to express their feelings
  • 64% developed higher levels of self-confidence
  • 62% were more likely to trust their teachers
[A study conducted by Big Brothers, Big Sisters School-based Mentoring, 1999]

Characteristics of students are…
  • Behind in academics
  • More minority youth
  • More boys
  • Single parent home
  • Recently changed schools
  • Shy and withdrawn
  • Low self-esteem
  • Family Dysfunction

Successful qualities in a mentor are…
  • A sincere desire to be involved with a young person
  • Available time
  • Dependability
  • Developmental attitude toward youth (helping youth grow versus “fixing the problem”)
  • Respect young people
  • Active Listener
  • Empathy
  • See solutions and opportunities
  • Flexible and open

You should not be a mentor if you…
  • Don’t have enough time, or have work schedules or other responsibilities that may make it difficult for you to show up reliably at the assigned meeting times.
  • Seem to have a history of not following through on commitments.
  • Seem to be volunteering because you think it will help your status in the workplace.
  • Believe you can transform the student.
  • Hold rigid opinions and do not seem open to new ideas.
  • Seem too concerned about what a mentee can do for you or want to be a mentor so you can work out problems from your own past.
Fatherless Homes Give Rise to Youth Mentoring Programs


63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes







90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes






85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes






80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes





71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes





75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes



70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes
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