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Should mentors discuss COVID-19 vaccines with their mentees? It’s complicated.

by Jean Rhodes The CDC recently provided valuable guidance on discuss the COVID-19 vaccine, including listening with empathy and asking open-ended questions. Likewise, last week, an NPR Health News report answered teens most pressing questions about the vaccine. These are useful resources, as teens tend to rely heavily on social media and can easily be […]

Youth-initiated mentoring: A scalable approach to addressing mental health problems

Viewpoint (Reprinted from the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry, Published online April 28, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.0490) By Levi van Dam,  Jean Rhodes, and Renée Spencer, Although adolescents have lower COVID-19 infection rates compared with adults, the pandemic is taking a toll on young people’s mental health. There have been multiple reports of increases in […]

The top 25 mentoring movies of all time!

By Jennifer Merrill, MENTOR Marketing & Communications Manager Yoda and Luke Skywalker. Coach Bombay and the Mighty Ducks. Professor Dumbledore and Harry Potter. When you think of mentors in pop culture, the stories are endless, building on a common thread of how important a mentor’s role is in relation to an individual’s personal journey. In […]

Things May Fall Apart but You Will Make it Through with a Little Help from your Family, Friends, Teachers, and School

We are pleased to feature this thoughtful essay about first generation college students from Professor Margarita Azmitia. Dr. Azmitia grew up in Guatemala and is a Professor of Psychology at the University of California at Santa Cruz. She studies how family, peer, schools, and communities contour adolescents and young adults educational and identity pathways, adolescents’ friendships, […]

Youth-Initiated Mentoring as a Scalable Approach to Addressing Mental Health Problems During the COVID-19 Crisis

Levi van Dam, PhD1; Jean Rhodes, PhD2; Renée Spencer, EdD3 Author Affiliations Article Information JAMA Psychiatry. Published online April 28, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.0490 COVID-19 Resource Center Although adolescents have lower COVID-19 infection rates compared with adults, the pandemic is taking a toll on young people’s mental health. There have been multiple reports of increases in mental health challenges for adolescents during the […]

“Black Box Thinking:” Drawing on disappointing findings to improve youth mentoring programs

by Jean Rhodes After a plane crash, investigators examine black box data to determine what went wrong and to make the necessary changes to protect against future incidents. Unfortunately,  that is not always the case in evaluations of prevention programs. In fact, we often find it easier to reframe and dismiss disappointing results than to […]

Getting to Carnegie Hall: Why practicing skills is a “best practice” in mentoring

by Jean Rhodes Chances are you’ve heard about the pedestrian on 57th Street who sees a musician getting out of a cab and asks, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Without pause, the musician replies “Practice.” Indeed, when it comes to any skill, from music and sports to academics and social-emotional learning, practice makes […]

Charlotte, Wilbur, and the myth of the selfless mentor

Why did you do all this for me?” [Wilbur] asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.” “You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift my life a trifle. Heaven knows, anyone’s life can stand a little of that.” E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web By […]

Wait, what?!: Shorter, less intensive mentoring relationships can be just as effective

by Jean Rhodes I think we can all agree that a good working relationship is a necessary ingredient of all successful mentoring. It can provide a safe, supportive foundation for learning new skills and navigating challenging topics and tasks. In one mentoring program, for example, high school seniors who had expressed an interest in college, […]

Are supportive relationships enough? The great debate continues

by Jean Rhodes In their provocative new paper, Back to the Future: Mentoring as Means and End in Promoting Child Mental Health, mentoring experts Tim Cavell, Renée Spencer & Sam D. McQuillin make the case for several approaches, including the “supportive mentoring” approach, wherein the “mentoring relationship is not intended as a targeted intervention designed to produce […]