Why Adolescent Mentoring is Beneficial

I believe adolescent mentoring is very beneficial to a child, but only if it is done in the right way. It can be very beneficial to kids, and help them out later in life. Did you know that “Mentored youth are 37% less likely to cut class and 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school.” If kids are skipping their classes, how does anyone expect them to succeed later in life? In this article I will explain why mentoring is beneficial, as well as the aspects that make it beneficial.
The purpose of adolescent mentoring is solely for the benefit of the child who is receiving the mentoring. However, many sources contrast this thought by showing that mentoring does not show any benefits at all. After researching this topic, I have found that there are many factors that go into a bad mentoring experience, and that most commonly mentoring shows benefits. In an article by Catherine A. Little, Kelly L. Kearney, and Preston A. Britner they define mentoring as “a relationship between an older, more experienced adult and an unrelated, younger protege- a relationship in which an adult provides ongoing guidance, instruction, and encouragement aimed at developing the compliance and character of the protege.” This is, in my opinion, the best definition of an adolescent-mentor relationship, however it does not go into the different aspects that make or break the mentoring experience. Some of the areas of mentoring that make the experience beneficial or not would be the relationship built between the mentor and the mentee, the time the mentor spends with the mentee, and the quality of the mentor.
I have done a lot of research on the topic of adolescent mentoring and from that research I believe that adolescent mentoring will be beneficial if the mentor and menee focus on building a strong relationship between them. The relationship is the most important part to a child, and arguably the most beneficial. If the relationship built between the mentor and mentee is strong, then that child will grow up to become themselves. Donna M. gibson and Renee N. Jefferson, authors of The Effect of Perceived Parental Involvement and the Use of Growth-Fostering Relationships on Self-Concept in Adolescents Participating in Gear Up, explain this by saying that for a child to grow up and learn who they are in the process, it is essential for the mentor to have a strong relationship with the child. If the mentor is knowledgeable of the child’s personality then they can allow them to grow up as themselves rather than teaching the to strive to be something else.
The topic of the relationship built between the mentor and the mentee goes hand in hand with the topic of the time the mentor spends with the mentee. It may be obvious but the longer the experience lasts, the stronger the relationship becomes. David L. DuBois and Naida Silverthorn back up this thought by stating that the longer a relationship lasts, the more opportunities there is for a relationship to develop. DuBois & Silverthorn conducted a three week study where they learned that the most negativity that comes from mentoring has to do with a limited time with the mentor.
Another topic that is really important when considering what makes mentoring beneficial or not is the quality of a mentor. A more experienced mentor will have more of a benefit on the child, but Maria E. Hengeveld bring a different perspective in her article Adolescent Mentorship Programs: Does Race Really Matter? She introduced the idea that the interests and attitudes lead to a compatibility that matters most when it comes to the quality of the mentor. She says that when a mentor and mentee share common interests, it makes the relationship much more beneficial.
Adolescent mentoring can be very beneficial if carried out in the right way. After researching the topic, I have come to this conclusion because most of my research pointed to the fact that mentoring helps a child. I did find some that said mentoring showed no benefit, but that was because it was carried out in the wrong way.

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