Quality mentoring has been linked to increased academic achievement, social competence, and civic engagement, regardless of race or family income. You can support a student by being a positive role model, or taking on a formal role as a mentor.
What can you do?
- Be a positive role model to youth in your life. Let them know you value and care about them. Children and teenagers look up to adults who they feel truly care. Your words and actions can make a difference.
- Volunteer with a mentoring or tutoring organization.
- Share stories with youth in your life about your own struggles and successes growing up. Let them know they are not alone. Tell them about how you overcame social or school challenges in your own life. Encourage them to share their story with you too.
- At-risk students with a positive mentoring relationship (formal or informal) are more likely to aspire to enroll in and graduate from college, as well as more likely to enroll in college, hold a leadership position, participate regularly in extracurricular activities, and regularly volunteer in their community than those who do not have a mentor. (Source, source)
- One in three young people reach the age of 19 without having a mentoring relationship of any kind. Youth in the top quartile of socio-economic status are more likely to have more and high quality informal mentoring from someone outside their family (teachers, coaches, religious and youth group leaders, family friends) than those of the bottom socioeconomic quartile. (Source)
- According to the 2015 report Don't Quit on Me, compared to young people who graduated on time, young people who left school before graduating were twice as likely to report that they reached out to "no one" for help and half as likely to have reached out to a teacher for help. When nearly 1,200 survey respondents who left school before graduating were asked why they returned to school, by far the most frequent response was "someone encouraged me to return." (Source)
- The presence of stable, trusting relationships is a key factor for enabling re-engagement with school. Stable relationships with non-family adults, in particular, play a big role in young people's re-engagement. (Source)
- A relationship with one stable, trusted person or Anchor allows young people to access available community assets and leverage internal strengths. (Source)
|ACE Mentor Program Helps mentor high school students and inspires them to pursue careers in design and construction.|
|Baton Rouge Youth Coalition Promotes intellectual and emotional exploration and risk-taking by offering programs that allow students to think critically and express themselves freely.|
|Big Brothers Big Sisters Makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18, in communities across the country.|
|Goodwill® GoodGuides® National mentoring program for youth between the ages of 12 and 17 who are at risk for making harmful choices such as delinquency, dropping out of school or joining a gang.|
|PBS NewsHour Student Reporting LabsConnects students with a network of public broadcasting mentors, an innovative journalism curriculum and an online collaborative space to develop digital media, critical thinking and communication skills while producing original news reports.|
|SEO Scholars A free, eight-year academic program that supports low-income public high school students to and through college. Serving over 600 high school students in New York City and over 80 in San Francisco, SEO Scholars provides intensive year-round academic preparation through a carefully calibrated, rigorously assessed course of supplemental education.|
|United Way Focuses on education, financial stability and health: the essential building blocks for a good quality of life.|
|YMCA Focuses work in three key areas to strengthen communities: nurturing the potential of kids, helping people live healthier, and supporting our neighbors.|
|Zebra Coalition Network of organizations which provide services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and all youth (LGBT+) ages 13 – 24. Assists young people facing homelessness; bullying; physical, sexual and drug abuse; and isolation from their families with individualized programs to guide them to recovery and stability.|
Related PBS Kids Apps
PBS Kids offers free and paid educational apps for children and even adults. The following apps are great for kids to play with an adult: