While all of the attention is focused on mentoring, I think it's a good time to dig deeper, to understand the different types of mentoring strategies that exists, and the different youth and adults who are the intended beneficiaries of mentoring. Furthermore, let's once again look at roles volunteers can take beyond being a mentor, or without being a mentor.
Let's look at this graphic first:
All youth and adults would benefit from mentors helping them journey through life. However, much research shows that youth living in high poverty, segregated, and/or isolated, areas need more help to move from first grade toward their adult lives. Here's a concept map that illustrates this differently. People living in more affluent areas have more resources to help them overcome challenges. This page on the YEARUP web site illustrates this "opportunity divide" effectively.
Through the Tutor/Mentor Connection, started in 1993, and through the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, started in 2011, I focus on youth living in high poverty areas of big cities like Chicago, where a wide range of mentoring, tutoring and learning supports are needed, in the lives of thousands of young people. Ideally, such programs should reach youth early and stay connected for many years, if the end result is a life out of poverty with a network of people to help achieve that goal.
The questions I've posted here just scratch the surface of the questions that might be asked. Visit this section of the Tutor/Mentor Web library and read the research articles. Visit this section and read the blog articles.
During this month, and throughout the year, I invite volunteers, program leaders, media, donors and policy makers to dig into this and other articles I've posted since 2005 on this blog, and in my library on Scribd.com. Do a Google search for "tutor mentor", then look at the images. You'll find dozens more intended to stimulate your thinking.
Build a deeper understanding of what types of programs serve the different needs of youth from different age groups and different social/economic backgrounds. Talk about proactive roles business, volunteers and donors can take to help strong, long-lasting tutor/mentor programs reach youth in more places. Create a "learning organization' where many are involved in this effort.