Editors Blog

Quaranteened! Helping Adolescents Cope with Boredom during COVID-19

As we head into the holidays and face additional shutdowns and school closing, many children and adolescents are struggling with boredom and isolation. In this article (excerpted below), adolescent experts Elizabeth Weybright, Ph.D., Linda Caldwell, Ph.D., Erica Doering, M.S., experts in adolescence, describe what parents, mentors, and other caring adults can do to help. “Almost […]

Teaching youth to fish: New meta-analysis highlights the value of “youth-initiated” mentoring

By Jean Rhodes Like so many other valuable resources, well-connected natural mentors, such as caring teachers, coaches, and guidance counselors, are unequally distributed—and those neighborhoods and schools that are already rich in natural mentors are only getting richer. The social fabric is stretched particularly thin in low-income urban communities, where young people are far less […]

What election-related issues matter most to young people? New national survey has some answers

By Jean Rhodes With less than a week to go before the general election, mentors and other caring adults are finding new opportunities to discuss the important  issues that shape our society affect our nation’s youth. To inform such conversations, the MyVoice Team at the University of Michigan recently released the results of a national […]

Mentoring during election season: Some advice from researchers

by Jean Rhodes “Democracy is not the business of government.  Democracy is the power of people to author their lives, to decide together what kind of society they want to live in. And young people should have a voice in that discussion.” Constance Flannagan Mentors are often instructed to avoid discussing politics. Yet with social […]

Four strategies for improving the field of youth mentoring

by Jean Rhodes Youth mentoring programs sit at the nexus of treatment and prevention science, offering both the structure for creating helping relationships and the apparatus for scaling them to many youth. Thus, they are exceptionally well-positioned to benefit from the lessons and innovations from both fields. Treatment science provides the rationale and resources for […]

How mentors can help students navigate another complicated school year

By Jean Rhodes As schools across the country close for the beginning of the new year, youth mentoring programs have a vital role to play in mitigating student struggles. Learning slides are already expected to be steepest for low-income, Black and Hispanic students, who typically live in more crowded homes and have less access to […]

Older and Wiser

Sneak preview: An excerpt from Older and Wiser!

By Jean Rhodes Yesterday my new book, “Older and Wiser: New Ideas for Mentoring in the 21st Century,” hit the stands – the culmination of 30 years of research and several years of writing and reflection. Today, I’m thrilled to share with you the introduction. If you’d like to order copies for your staff, please […]

How cognitive biases shape our beliefs about mentoring

by Jean Rhodes When we hear the word  “bias,” we instinctively think of such things as racial prejudice or slanted news coverage, but our brains are actually remarkably susceptible to all sorts of cognitive biases (Yagoda, 2018). Indeed, cognitive biases are very much at work in the field of youth mentoring. As I discuss in […]

Finding a silver lining: COVID-19 is shedding new light onto childhood poverty

By Jean Rhodes Young people who are referred to mentoring programs face dramatically more challenges than most other youth. For example, an analysis of the two million young people aged six through eighteen that Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has served over the past decade revealed that the majority were from low-income families (78 […]