The Mentoring Effect: Young People’s Perspectives on the Outcomes and Availability of Mentoring

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Author(s): Civic Enterprises in association with Hart Research Associates - Commissioned by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership

  • Mary Bruce
  • John Bridgeland

Published: January 13th, 2014

Report Intro/Brief:
"The Mentoring Effect
is a compelling new report informed by the first-ever nationally representative survey of young people on the topic of both informal and formal mentoring, as well as a literature and landscape review and insights from a variety of key leaders in business, philanthropy, government, and education. The report was commissioned by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership with support from AT&T, and written by Civic Enterprises in partnership with Hart Research.

The findings of this report are consistent with a powerful mentoring effect as demonstrated by the life experiences of the young people surveyed and mentoring’s link to improved academic, social and economic prospects. This mentoring effect is growing and, if harnessed, it has the potential to help meet a range of national challenges and strengthen our communities and economy.

The survey found that 4.5 million at-risk young people will be matched in mentoring relationships through mentoring programs while they are growing up. In the early 1990s an estimated 300,000 at-risk young people had a structured mentoring relationship. Another 10.5 million at-risk young people have informal mentoring relationships with teachers, coaches, extended family members or neighbors.

Despite this positive trend, the survey shows that one in three young people will reach adulthood without connecting with a mentor of any kind. It also showed that with each additional risk factor a young person experiences, the less likely he or she is to connect with an informal mentor. This finding suggests a systemic shift to leverage quality mentoring programs to introduce mentors to young people who face a greater number of risk factors is a powerful and necessary strategy."