WHAT IS MENTORING

Mentoring is a time-proven strategy that can help young people of all circumstances achieve their potential. Mentors are caring individuals who, along with parents or guardians, provide young people with support, counsel, friendship, reinforcement and a constructive example. But mentoring is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Every young person who would benefit from a mentoring relationship has individual needs. Effective mentoring programs offer enough flexibility to help meet each mentee’s personal needs, yet allow mentoring relationships to flourish within a safe structure.

Types of Mentoring

Mentoring can be accomplished in a variety of ways including, but not limited to these five (5) types:

  • Group Mentoring - This form of mentorship involves one adult Mentor who assumes a leadership role with a group of up to four Mentees and makes a commitment to meet with the group over a long period of time. This interaction takes on the form of a guided session structure which may involve personal sharing, teaching exercises, or may simply be for fun.
  • Team Mentoring - Team Mentoring includes the participation of several adult mentors with partaking in activities with small groups of Mentees, with an adult ratio no greater than one to four.
  • Peer Mentoring - In a Peer Mentor relationship, the Mentee has an opportunity to interact and receive support and encouragement from a younger individual. Peer Mentors are able to provide additional social and recreational assistance and serve as positive role models to their Mentee in an educational setting. This relationship usually requires that the Peer Mentor and Mentee meet frequently throughout the semester or school year.
  • E-mentoring - The E-mentoring relationship consists of one Mentor and Mentee who communicate via Internet at least once per week in a period ranging from six months to a year. This style of mentoring can require two to three face meetings, one of which is usually a kick-off event. Mentors in this regard often serve as a guide for school or career related activities and information.
  • One-on-one mentoring - One on one mentoring is the traditional form of mentoring relationships in which one adult Mentor is placed with a Mentee who meet regularly per month for at least a school year. The Mentor in this relationship provides valuable information regarding academic and career related possibilities and guides the Mentee in regards to questions and concerns they may have.

(MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, 2005, p. 12; Retrieved July 2011 from http://www.mentoring.org/downloads/mentoring_413.pdf)