National Mentoring Resource Center Blog

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LGBTQ Spotlight: Queer* Therapeutic Services

JULY 19, 2018
LGBTQMENTOR is shining a light on LGBTQ mentoring. In the process, we have asked prominent and impactful LGBTQ serving organizations to write about the communities they serve and the methods they use to reach and teach LGBTQ mentees.

As queer and trans people, we are incredibly resilient but we are also a vulnerable population. In recent decades, an increase in queer and trans visibility has made the world a better place for us to live. Still, the following has been recently reported:

Between 20-30% of transgender people struggle with addiction compared to an estimated 9% of the general population. (The Center for American Progress)

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School Attendance and Mentoring: What's the Connection?

JUNE 26, 2018

School AttendanceIn my work as a Program Director at MENTOR, I talk about mentoring with many different audiences, with the goal of ensuring that caring adults serving as mentors, and the programs that support them, have access to high quality resources and tools that equip them to be effective partners, allies, supports and friends to the young people they serve. At MENTOR, we believe that all young people need and deserve to have mentors who support, encourage, and celebrate them as they navigate life’s challenges and experiences and realize their potential. Across all the adults I have spoken to, there tends to be agreement that mentors have made all the difference in our lives, no matter where we found them – in school, on the sports field, in a formal mentoring program, or just informally in our neighborhoods and communities. Those who had mentors at critical times in life when support and inspiration were needed often share with me that this changed everything for them, while who did not often share that it would have.

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Building Connections to Better Serve Youth in Foster Care

MAY 22, 2018

National Foster Care Awareness Month Blog Series (Part 1 of 5)

Mentoring is essentially about relationships. More than meeting program goals or benchmarks, the real benefit of mentoring comes from the relationship built between the youth and the mentor over time. It is this relationship that fosters positive youth development, skill-building, and personal growth that are the touchstones of the mentoring model. Benefits of having a mentor include improved academic outcomes, increased relationship skills, enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence, improved behavior and interpersonal skills, and a reduction in risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol use. If the mentor-mentee relationship can have that much power, imagine how powerful it can be for someone who may not have typical family or community supports in their life.

Young people involved in the foster care system often are faced with limited opportunities to connect with supportive adults. This is in part due to the fact that many foster youth are subjected to multiple, short-term placements, and that they are often separated from immediate and extended family systems. Research indicates that experiences within the foster care system affect all kinds of relationships, including those with parents and caregivers, siblings, and others involved in their day-to-day lives.[1]

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The Promise and Potential of Mentors in Combating the Opioid Crisis

MAY 22, 2018

OpioidsThe last year has seen an increasingly bright spotlight shined on one of the nation’s most damaging and pernicious challenges: the struggle of many communities and individual citizens with opioid addiction. It seems that the nation is just now coming to grips with the depth and severity of the problem and the statistics on the subject are grim:

  • In 2016, 116 people in the United States died from overdoses of opioids1
  • One study2 found that opioid overdoses increased over 30% across 45 states between 2016 and 2017, with a 70% increase in the Midwest over that same timeframe, indicating that this problem is actually getting worse
  • Between 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them3, resulting in about 80% of heroin users first getting addicted via prescribed opioids4.
  • The estimated economic impact of this crisis is $78.5 billion a year5.
  • And unfortunately, this is an issue that directly impacts young people: One study6 found that 3.6% of youth ages 12-17 had misused opioids in the past year, with that number climbing to 7.3% of those 18-25.

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Research Alert: Evaluation of the Effects of a Mentoring Program for Youth in Foster Care on Their Criminal Justice Involvement as Young Adults

MAY 22, 2018

My Life ModelThe My Life model uses weekly structured individual and group mentoring activities for 16- to 18-year-old youth in foster care to improve their self-determination skills to help them meet their goals. Evidence of program effectiveness with males is important because males were more likely to report criminal justice involvement at follow-up, overall, compared to females in the study. The findings of this study suggest that a structured, weekly mentoring program specifically for foster care youth may reduce and prevent offending in early adulthood.

Learn more about this study here.





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