Teen Mentoring: The power of a positive role model
Discover the difference a mentor can make and how you can become one.
Youth mentoring by the numbers
When it comes to mentoring, the numbers prove its impact. Here are some stats about youth mentoring provided by the Mentor Me Organization. "Young adults who were at risk of falling off track but had a mentor are:
- 55% more likely to enroll in college
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly
- 90% are interested in becoming a mentor
- 130% more likely to hold a leadership position"
Importance of mentoring youth
When kids or teenagers have a mentor, it may help them when dealing with stressful situations at home or school. Having a positive role model may also improve self-esteem, help kids to make better lifestyle decisions, have healthier relationships and overall better behavior and attitude toward and at school. Teen mentoring may also help with increased high school graduation rates and to lower rates of illegal drug use.
Many participants in teen mentoring programs come from broken families with histories of trauma and educational challenges — and they don't realize their stories can be different until a mentor shows them. In addition to being a positive role model, a mentor can also be a source of information about college and extracurricular activities and also exemplify good behaviors that may help the youth prepare for adult life.
Benefits for mentors
As mentoring relationships can bring a lot of good things for kids, they can also be very beneficial for the adult being a mentor. Here are some of the benefits:
- Promotes self-esteem and confidence
- May reduce anxiety
- Helps you learn about the youth perspective
- Gain leadership skills
- Provides satisfaction by helping others
- Allows for learning about diversity
How to become a mentor
That's where you and your willingness to give back may come in. If you have a genuine interest in and respect for the youth, good listening skills, adaptability, compassion, the willingness to see solutions and to find opportunities, you may have what it takes to be a good mentor, according to Mentoring.org.
You can also learn more about mentoring and opportunities at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.