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Nearly 11 million American volunteers engage in some type of youth mentoring each year, according to authors Gail Manza and Susan K. Patrick, who wrote The Mentor’s Field Guide: Answers You Need to Help Kids Succeed. Some notable champions of mentoring include U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, as well as former U.S. President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush.

You can become a mentor in one of two ways: you can volunteer or you can be drafted. Either way, stepping up to mentor young people is rarely a short-term commitment. Most mentoring relationships last an average of nine months. Thirty-eight percent of mentors spend at least twelve months with their mentees.

In their book, Ms. Manza and Ms. Patrick say that people who mentor are interested in playing a meaningful role in young people’s success and development. They typically have the following motivations for being a mentor:

  • want to help young people (82 percent),
  • want to make a difference in someone’s life (76 percent),
  • want to give back to the community (43 percent),
  • for religious or spiritual reasons (27 percent), and
  • because someone helped them when they were young (22 percent).

Inspired to become a mentor or support the mentors you work with? During the month of January, you can save 10 percent on Search Institute publications related to mentoring. Find tips, tools, and activities that will keep mentors and mentees motivated and moving forward in the new year.

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Publish Date: 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

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