“Every child who ends up doing well has had at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive adult.” —The Science of Resilience, Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University
WHY ONE-TO-ONE, COMMUNITY BASED MENTORING IS SO EFFECTIVE
What is the difference between group-based (1 adult to 5-10 kids) or site-based (at one location) mentoring and FORGE’s one-to-one, community-based mentoring? Impact.
- Didn’t it feel good as a young person when an adult listened to what you had to say?
- Wasn’t it comforting when you felt safe to ask any question and receive an honest and caring answer?
- Wouldn’t it have felt lonely to not have that one adult at your side?
Our model of mentoring provides every kid one adult mentor who offers undivided attention and a desire to help them better understand themselves and the world they live in. Each supportive and committed adult inspires their mentee to discover their potential, and most importantly, helps them pursue it. Having someone there for each mentee, allowing them to talk when they want and about what they need, without worry of what others might think, is one reason why we love this kind of mentoring.
MULTIPLE LOCATIONS ARE IMPORTANT IN MENTORING
- As a child, how did it feel to venture to new places?
- What was it like the first time you went to places like; parks, rivers, zoos, miniature golf courses, arcades, sporting events, the theater?
- Did these visits stir up questions and spark your imagination?
- How did these adventures and experiences shape your future hobbies and career?
So many children in our communities live in poverty and in homes where parent/parents aren’t engaged. We’ve heard and read it often, that young people feel that they are on their own to figure life out. One author even used the word “abandoned” to best describe their feelings.
Because of this, many kids live in a situation where their neighborhood is their world. They are rarely exposed to any activities outside of these artificial boundaries.
Community based mentoring provides weekly opportunities to expand young peoples’ horizons as they are going to new places and having new experiences regularly. This stirs their minds and helps them discover what the future COULD look like. Questions and imagination can’t help but erupt.
Even more, they get to see their mentor model proper behavior in the variety of settings, and with their mentor’s help, they get exposed to new people and new learning which helps kids develop “social capital” as they grow their network of knowledge, services, hobby groups, volunteerism, and supportive people.
We only want to do what is effective. There is no point doing things that can’t show measurable results. This type of youth mentoring is supported by a myriad of research and proven results.
Kids that meet weekly for a minimum of one-hour in a community based mentoring program, for a minimum of one year are:
- 47% less likely to use illegal drugs *
- 52% less likely to skip school *
- 33% less likely to commit acts of violence *
- 55% more likely to enroll in college **
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly **
- 130% more likely to hold leadership positions **
- Experience fewer depressive symptoms ***
- Discover greater acceptance by their peers ***
- Hold more positive beliefs about their ability to succeed in school ***
- Earn better grades in school ***
- 81% more likely to participate in after-school activities (The Mentoring Effect, 2014)
- More likely to attend college (Cave & Quint, 1990)
- Will complete more years of college (Torrance, 1984)
- 81% of teens feel that talking with adults helps reduce teen pregnancy ****
- 53% of students credit mentors with improving their ability to avoid drugs ****
* Making a Difference: An Impact Study of Big Brothers Big Sisters, P/PV; ** www.MENTORing.org/mentoring-impact; *** The Role of Risk, Carla Herrera, David L. DuBois, Jean Baldwin Grossman; **** Children Uniting Nations, Benefits of Mentoring
WHY IS MENTORING SO POWERFUL?
- “…keep in consideration the stage of brain development a child or adolescent is in. The amygdala (emotional reaction center) is fully formed in children and adolescents. However, the prefrontal cortex (reasoning and emotional regulation) is far from reaching maturity… a child, especially one who is in a difficult environment, is more likely to be impulsive, have accidents, get into conflicts with peers, misinterpret social cues, and participate in dangerous behavior. During this crucial period of development, it is essential a child has mentors to help develop their brain and emotional reactions. Through bringing positive worldviews, experiences, and knowledge, a child has a greater chance of achieving their full potential as young adults.” Cassie Diep Yeung, Baylor College of Medicine
- “With the support of their mentors, at-risk youth can gain the skills to overcome the challenges that stand in the way of their success. They also gain confidence that enables them to set more ambitious goals and then strive to achieve them: With hope, determination, and the encouragement of their mentors, these children can go on to do great things, from inventing life-saving devices to making the next great scientific breakthrough to becoming the great societal leaders of tomorrow.” www.Kidscause.org
“Virtually every aspect of human development is fundamentally shaped by interpersonal relationships. So, it stands to reason that when close and caring relationships are placed at the center of a youth intervention, as is