Take a minute and think about someone in your life who helped you get to where you are today. Was it your favorite teacher? The one who stayed after school to help you with your math homework even though you weren’t in her class anymore. Or, perhaps it was your first supervisor who helped you understand what it meant to have your first job–showing up on time, dressing professionally, learning how to ask for help when you need it? While you may have not known it at the time, these adults were acting as mentors to you and me.
Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations.
Yet, 1 in 3 young people will grow up without this critical asset.
Young people who were at-risk for falling off track but had a mentor are: