Working with Mentees: Effective Strategies for Providing Quality Youth Mentoring in Schools and Communities

Read the following excerpt from Effective Strategies for Providing Quality Youth Mentoring in Schools and Communities. The material in this article does not necessarily reflect any guidelines for BreakThru but serve to stimulate discussion regarding mentoring.

Working with Mentees
Working with Mentees

Working with Mentees

1. Commitment to Learning [Mentees] needs to develop a lifelong commitment to education and learning. The developmental assets in this category include:

  • The motivation for achievement— [Mentee] is motivated to do well in school
  • School engagement—[Mentee] is actively engaged in learning
  • Homework—[Mentee] reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day
  • Bonding to school—[Mentee] cares about her or his school
  • Reading for pleasure—[Mentee] reads for pleasure three or more hours per week

2. Positive Values [Mentees] need to develop strong values that guide their choices. The developmental assets in this category include:

  • Caring—[Mentee] places a high value on helping other people
  • Equality and social justice—[Mentee] places a high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty
  • Integrity—[Mentee] acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs
  • Honesty—[Mentee] “tells the truth even when it is not easy”
  • Responsibility—[Mentee] accepts and takes personal responsibility
  • Restraint—[Mentee] believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs

3. Social Competencies [Mentees] need skills and competencies that equip them to make positive choices, to build relationships, and to succeed in life. The developmental assets in this category include:

  • Planning and decision making—[Mentee] knows how to plan ahead and make choices
  • Interpersonal competence—[Mentee] has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills
  • Cultural competence—[Mentee] has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds
  • Resistance skills—[Mentee] can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations
  • Peaceful conflict resolution—[Mentee] seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently

4. Positive Identity [Mentees] need a strong sense of their own power, purpose, worth, and promise. The developmental assets in this category include:

  • Personal power—[Mentee] feels he or she has control over “things that happen to me”
  • Self-esteem—[Mentee] reports having a high self-esteem
  • Sense of purpose—[Mentee] reports that “my life has a purpose”
  • A positive view of personal future—[Mentee] is optimistic about her or his personal future

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