Best Practices


Mentoring has been the art of developing and maintaining positive and helpful human relationships for hundreds of years, by nearly every culture, by varied individuals and groups, and in many different ways. It has survived the test of time and has been of enormous value to each mentee involved in a mentor program. It has proven to be effective with many different youth groups but has been extremely effective with youth in at-risk situations. Mentoring is a one-to-one caring, supportive relationship between a mentor and a mentee that is based on trust. The mentor is simply a wise and trusted friend with a commitment to provide guidance and support for the mentee to develop their fullest potential based on their vision for the future. Mentoring occurs in many different formats including the traditional one-to-one relationship, a one-to-group relationship, and recently a telementoring relationship having multiple relationships about different topics.


Mentoring programs across the country are developed with many different goals and objectives; however, most programs have been designed to expect changes and benefits in the general areas of: academic achievement, employment or career preparation, social or behavior modification, family and parenting skills, and social responsibilities. With those program goals in mind it is expected to see individual or school results such as:


  • Improved school achievement
  • Increased graduation rates
  • Increase in self-esteem
  • Increased school attendance
  • Decrease in discipline referrals
  • Decrease in early pregnancy rates
  • Increase in securing entry-level jobs
  • Increase in community service activities

Source: National Dropout Prevention Center/Network


Background Documents


Evidence-Based Programs


Recommended Strategies


Related Topics