A youth mentor is an adult individual who is paired with a younger individual. The adult or the mentor provides the younger individual with a positive example, kindness, and provides them with an example of how a responsible adult operates in life.
The average mentor is unrelated to the child, teen, or young adult who they are being mentored by. In some rare cases, a mentor can be a blood relative. Most mentors or volunteers are from a community-based program, a school, or even a church. When a child, teen, or young adult gets a mentor the goal is to provide the child with a positive role model who can assist them with any social, personal, or academic needs.
There are usually mentoring programs that already have goals set for the child, teen, or young adult. The goals that are set for the child, teen, or young adult are usually set by their individual and their mentor. The mentoring programs also have set aside meeting places where the two can meet.
When youth have a mentor there are tremendous benefits that can be gained. When youths have a mentor it helps to lower the high school dropout rates. When a youth has a mentor they have a higher chance of graduating from high school. When a youth has a mentor they also have a higher chance of attending and graduating from a trade school or college.
Individuals who have mentors as youth are least likely to commit crimes and go to prison. When a youth has a mentor it also has a positive effect on day-to-day activities such as school attendance and relationship-building with teachers and classmates. The individual will even display and better behavior in the home. The youth will also display a boost of motivation and self-confidence.
When individuals become youth mentors they must be serious because this is not a game. A youth mentor has to be dedicated to a long term commitment. A youth mentor will be dedicating his or her time for free and this is not a week or monthly obligation.
Remember the goal of a mentor is to affect the child’s life in a positive manner over the long term. If an individual wants to be an effective mentor a relationship must be established and upheld with a child for at least one year. In some cases, the mentorship will need to be more than one year depending on what type of life situations the youth is dealing with.
Mentors must realize that they themselves can have a huge impact on a child being a successful adult or not. An effective mentor has the following skills: they are responsible, opportunistic, dependable, and are good listeners. A good mentor is also capable of inspiring kids to set goals and strive to accomplish those goals.