July 21, 2006

Mentor ?

What is a Mentor ?

Mentoring, it is a popular term. Used often in describing AmeriCorps programs and after school tutoring program. But now people are asking what does it mean? What constitutes a mentoring relationship?

Is a baseball coach a mentor ? This is the question Patrick Boyle raises in his Youth Today article Are You My Mentor.

'No one draws the line between mentoring and other youth services more strongly than the National Mentoring Center’s Garringer, who writes:

“If a program is going to call itself a mentoring program, then mentoring better be the primary service they offer and their matches better be developmentally focused. You can work on grades, getting into college, staying off drugs and out of gangs. ... But if the relationship itself isn’t the primary focus of your agency’s work, then stop talking about yourself as a mentoring program. You’re doing something else using adults to help youth (and god bless ya) but it ain’t mentoring.”'

Check out these two mentoring resources and see how your program's language lines up.

Mentor/National Mentoring Partnership or
National Mentoring Center

What does a service-learning mentoring program look like? Please share your examples and the criteria you set for a mentoring relationship or email me directly.

-Heather Margolis National Service-Learning Partnership

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