National Mentoring Resource Center Blog

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College & Career Readiness Program Spotlight: Adopt a Class

SEPTEMBER 14, 2018

Adopt a Class ModelAdopt A Class, a Unique Approach to Group Mentoring

Hi Friends, It’s Melanie Ervin, Director of Communication of Adopt A Class. I am here to share our work and 3 lessons we’ve learned that has sustained our program year over year.

But first, What is Adopt A Class?

Adopt A Class (AAC) is group mentoring program in Greater Cincinnati that connects businesses and civic groups to students in high poverty schools. Serving students Pre-K through 8th grade for more than 15 years, the AAC program positively impacts the students AND businesses involved. Today, Adopt A Class serves over 6000 students with the help of over 2500 mentors, representing 150 organizations.

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Improving Mentoring by Improving Mentor Training

AUGUST 22, 2018

In 1964, the famed American psychologist B.F. Skinner predicted how education might change by 1984. Reflecting on the precedent for this prediction, he wrote “Improving education seldom takes the form of improving teaching.” I was confused the first time that I read this quote. What he meant, as I understand it, was that efforts to improve education as an institution rarely come from efforts to improve the conditions in which people learn (i.e., teaching). He argued that many educational improvements come from finding better teachers, enhancing the aesthetics of curriculum, teaching more of what is necessary, and less of what is not, and expanding education through mass media. He thought good and well of these efforts, but was perturbed by the fact that very little educational improvements focused on improving, or even using, the science of how people learn and, maybe more importantly, forget. He went on to argue that science has something to say about how people learn, and it’s a shame that we don’t use that science to improve what people know and do. In 1984, if we were to heed his advice, we would be able to teach students more with greater efficiency.

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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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