Editors Blog

‘My guidance counselor didn’t do any of this’: How mentors can extend the vital work of school counselors

By Jean Rhodes

“When I was in high school, my guidance counselor did not do any of this…I saw my guidance counselor when I was applying for college.” (Jacquelyn Indrisano, ninth grade guidance counselor at East Boston High, quoted in … Read the rest

Mentoring without borders: Three ways to join the international youth mentoring movement

By Jean Rhodes

Although the U.S. continues to account for the largest proportion of youth mentoring programs, many others have emerged across the globe, most notably in Israel, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and, more recently, continental Europe.  … Read the rest

Four takeaways from a forthcoming book on youth mentoring

By Jean Rhodes

When I wrote Stand by Me: The risks and rewards of mentoring today’s youth more than 15 years ago, I assumed that it would be my final, book-length manuscript on youth mentoring.  As I  complete yet a … Read the rest

Persuasion & healing: Why youth mentoring programs should prioritize mental health

“The pieces I am, she gather them and gave them back to me in all the right order.”

Toni Morrison, Beloved.

by Jean Rhodes

Although youth mentoring programs should continue to target the full range of issues (e.g.., academics, college Read the rest

Complicated lives, complicated excuses

by Jean Rhodes

I maintain an email file of the student excuses I’ve received in my 20 years as a professor at UMass Boston. Some are predictable for college students, “I spilled coke on my computer and it turned off … Read the rest

What we talk about when we talk about transference

An exquisite example of mentor transference

by Jean Rhodes

Transference is what happens when someone redirects unconscious feelings about one person onto someone else. In mentoring, a mentee might redirect his or her feelings, such as anger/disappointment with a parent, frustration with a teacher, ambivalence toward … Read the rest

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. … Read the rest

Winner takes all?: Mentoring programs in the age of inequality

By Jean Rhodes

In his recent best-selling book, Winner Takes All, writer Anand Giridharadas sheds light on the complexities and potentially self-serving nature of focusing on individual solutions and one-off opportunities in an unjust world. Through this lens, private Read the rest

Grabbing the fourth cookie: On luck, entitlement, and mentors

by Jean Rhodes

Here’s a story for graduation season. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a commencement address at Princeton University. The speaker, writer Michael Lewis, described a study in which researchers divided UC Berkeley students Read the rest

Challenging the “Dodo Bird Verdict” in Youth Mentoring

by Jean Rhodes

In 1936, psychologist Saul Rosenzweig coined the term “Dodo Bird Verdict” to illustrate the frequent claims that all helping relationships are roughly equivalent in terms of their effectiveness. Rosenzweig evoked a scene in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, … Read the rest