Mentoring Program

BGCHR Mentoring Program

What is Mentoring?

Mentors are caring individuals who, along with parents or guardians, provide young people with emotional support, counsel, friendship, reinforcement and a constructive example in a structured and trusting relationship.  However, mentoring youth is not a "one size fits all" program.  Every young person who would benefit from a mentoring relationship has individual needs.  Effective mentoring programs should offer enough flexibility to help meet each youth’s personal needs, and at the same time allow mentoring relationships to flourish within a safe, structured environment.

Three Basic Frameworks of Mentoring

The three basic frameworks of mentoring are traditional one-to-one mentoring; group mentoring; and peer mentoring.

Traditional One-to-One Mentoring

One-to-one mentoring places one adult in a relationship with one youth.  To help foster a successful mentoring relationship, the mentor and mentee should meet very regularly, especially at the beginning of the program, and continue for the duration.  There are exceptions – such as in school-based mentoring, which coincides with the school year – and other types of special mentoring initiatives.

Group Mentoring

Group mentoring involves one adult mentor forming a relationship with a small group of young people.  The mentor assumes the role of leader and makes a commitment to meet regularly with the group over a long period of time.  Most interaction is guided by the session structure, which includes time for personal sharing.  The program might specify certain activities that the group must participate in, or in some cases the mentor may choose or design appropriate activities.  Some group mentoring activities may be intended as teaching exercises, while others may simply be for fun.

Peer Mentoring

Peer mentoring provides an opportunity for a caring youth to develop a guiding, teaching relationship with a younger person.  Usually the mentoring program specifies activities that are curriculum-based.  For example, a high school student might tutor an elementary school student in reading or engage in other skill-building activities on site.  These youth mentors serve as positive role models.  They also require ongoing support & close supervision.  Usually in a peer mentoring relationship, the mentor and the mentee meet frequently over the course of a semester or an entire school year.

Mentoring in Boys & Girls Clubs

Mentoring in Boys & Girls Clubs takes many forms:

  • Both formally and informally, in day-to-day contact with Club staff, either one-on-one or in small groups
  • In regular and periodic contact with Club volunteers, including board members and other community leaders, employee groups from corporate supporters, etc.
  • Through proven programs specifically structured to include a mentoring component or aspect

Duration & Frequency

Because relationships and the bond between mentors and mentees develops over time, the duration and consistency of each mentoring relationship is very important.  At a minimum, mentors and mentees should meet regularly – at least twice a week for at least a year.  There are exceptions, such as mentoring that coincides with the school year and other types of special mentoring initiatives.  Mentees need to know from the outset how long they can expect the relationship to last so they can adjust their expectations accordingly.

Proven Youth Development Strategy

Clubs deliver a proven youth development strategy, access to Club services several days a week, a safe and clean environment, life-changing programs, and the opportunity to receive mentoring experiences and relationships with diverse, trained and caring staff and volunteers in a supervised and structured environment.

Key Elements For Positive Youth Development

Through extensive research, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has identified certain elements that make it possible for Clubs to assure positive developmental experiences for Club youth.  We have learned that the level of impact a Club has on young people depends on how often and how long members participate, and how well the Club implements five key elements: A Safe, Positive Environment; Fun; Supportive Relationships; Opportunities and Expectations; and Recognition.

How Do I Become a Mentor?

If interested in becoming a mentor, please E-Mail us here with your contact information and our staff will get in touch with you to discuss the program and the process.

Youth With Mentors

A National study discovered that dramatic changes in youth happen after just 18 months of mentoring.

Youth with Mentors are . . .

46% Less Likely to Begin Using Drugs

27% Less Likely to Begin Using Alcohol

52% Less Likely to Skip School

32% Less Likely to Hit Someone

37% Less Likely to Lie to a Parent

Ways To Invest In Our Youth

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