Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mentoring Named a Strategy to Prepare Youth for the Future

This is a message from MENTOR

May 19, 2009: Two new briefings from Child Trends cite mentoring as a strategy in preparing young people to make a successful transition into adulthood and in preparing young people to succeed in the workplace.

Both briefings are from the larger report titled A Developmental Perspective on College and Workplace Readiness by Laura Lippman, Astrid Atienza, Andrew Rivers and Julie Keith. The report received support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and draws on research across the fields of college readiness, workplace readiness and youth development to identify the skills and competencies high school students need to master for future success.

To become successful adults, one brief identifies strategies that high schools can use to foster skills not covered in the curriculum — skills such as problem-solving and a strong work ethic. In working with special populations of children, mentoring appears as a particularly effective way to help low-income and minority youth: "Mentoring programs may increase academic motivation and school attendance and reduce problem behavior … as well as encourage students to consider post secondary educational opportunities."

In the briefing on how high schools can help students develop skills to succeed in the workplace, mentoring is an option that increases support for young people: "Pair students with mentors to help develop interpersonal skills and identify career interests and opportunities. Mentors can help foster leadership, communication and social skills."

For the full report, go to Child Trends, and to download the briefings, go to www.mentoring.org/news/120.

If you accept this information as fact, then the next question is "What can business, philanthropy and government do to assure that comprehensive, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs are reaching kids in neighborhoods where they need this help?"

Read the articles in the Tutor/Mentor Institute as you brainstorm the answers to this question, then apply this thinking through your own business, college, faith group, to support programs offering these services in Chicago and other cities.

Use the Program Locator to find contact information for more than 170 tutoring and/or mentoring programs in Chicago, including Cabrini Connections, which is the program we operate.


John Hoskins said...

Would be interested to have you look at adopting our Lifeplan Program for innner city kids. Check out www.LifeplanInstitute.org.

John Hoskins
Co Founder

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

There are many examples like this of "curriculum" for mentoring, but I'm still looking for examples of leaders working to make the dollars, staff, and space available in thousands of locations, where such curriculum might be used if a program existed.

I encourage you to share your information via the conferences we host, as well as the network in via on-line forums.