Mentoring, Policy and Politics

Public/Private Ventures (P/PV)

This policy brief by former P/PV President Gary Walker asks, “Is mentoring now a durable part of American social policy? And, if so, is this good news?” Adapted from an article that first appeared in The Handbook of Youth Mentoring, the brief examines the impact and appeal of mentoring, critiques the movement and suggests future directions for mentoring.

Walker lists five major appeals of mentoring: It makes sense to most people, regardless of their politics; it fits neatly with such dominant American cultural values as volunteerism and self-determination; it has proven, evidence-based results; it has Big Brothers Big Sisters of America as an exemplar; and its costs are not high, averaging an estimated $1,000 to $1,500 per year per mentor. Free. 17 pages. (215) 557-4411,


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