Mentoring is a trusted partnerships where the focus is on supporting the growth and development of the mentee. The mentor is a source of wisdom, teaching, and support, but not someone who observes and advises on specific actions and/or development of life skills.
A recent Search Institute study in a major US city showed that 40% of young people say they have just one or no developmental relationships in their lives. This may be even greater for youth from marginalized communities.
Mentoring is incredibly valuable in providing developmental support., offering high-level guidance for the long-term development of mentee. A healthy mentoring relationship is cultivated when mentee and mentor commit to sharing and creating safe space for learning and growing. Important elements of the partnership include:
- defining the relationship
- establishing clear boundaries
-setting clear expectations
Mentees acquire and refine thinking skills, become more receptive to establishing values akin to significant adults in their life, accept advice and guidance, and reshape perspectives that affect their trajectory. Mentoring relationships improve perceptions of healthy parental and family relationships as well as relationships with peers and other adults in their social and academic networks.