The Strength of Vulnerability: Surprising New Insights into Building Strong Mentoring Relationships

By Jean Rhodes In a year in which words like ‘AI’ and ‘hallucinate’ dominated the public discourse, Merriam-Webster’s 2023 word of the year ‘authentic’  really resonated. This choice underscored both the enduring importance of genuine human connection and the value of authenticity in mentoring. In a recent study of helping relationships, perceived therapist genuineness was […]

Midsection of african american father and son sitting on couch in living room holding hands.

Nurturing Bonds: The Link Between Caregiver Attachment and Mentorship Among Black Teens

Reference: Charity-Parker, B. M., Negrete, A., Deutsch, N. L., & Hurd, N. M. (2023). A Mixed Method Investigation of Associations Between Caregiver Attachment and Natural Mentoring Relationships Among Black Adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Research, 07435584231189213. Summarized by: Ellen Parry Luff About the Study Through natural mentoring we can see how informal bonds formed with caring […]

In it together: Why a sense of “shared reality” is vital in mentoring

By Jean Rhodes “If you have ever been to an award ceremony, then you know the drill” observes psychologist Abdo Elnakouri and his colleagues, “Awardees dutifully list off those who helped them along the way: mentors, family, friends, and perhaps a surprisingly crucial acquaintance or two. Without them, the crowd is told, success would not […]

Step Up invites young women to join their nonprofit mentoring program

You’re one step away from achieving your dreams of success with Step Up! MentorPRO has partnered with mentorship nonprofit to launch their Step Up Digital Community on the MentorPRO platform. Exclusively designed for young women* ages 18-29 and Step Up member mentors, this new program features flash mentorship – focused and on-demand mentoring that offers […]

Integrating cognitive-behavioral strategies into youth mentoring: Findings from a rigorous new evaluation

Evaluation of Reach & Rise® Program Enhancements to Cognitive Behavioral Mentoring – Technical Report As the authors note, youth face numerous challenges in school, home, and the broader community, such as poverty, peer rejection, and violence. These challenges are are linked to various mental and emotional issues. Mentoring has been identified as a protective factor […]

Teaching to fish: New study highlights the value of building students’ social capital

By Jean Rhodes A growing number of innovative mentoring programs have emerged in recent years that involve both “teaching youth to fish” for mentors (i.e., to recruit natural mentors) and “stocking the pond” (i.e., expanding the availability of high-social capital adults in marginalized youth’s lives). For years, the National Guard Youth Challenge Program, an intensive […]

Two research-based strategies for building strong connections

Jean Rhodes Building strong, enduring mentoring relationships depends on many factors, including empathy, proximity, and shared interest.  But here are two  research-based tips that might be helpful to mentors. Reciprocal self-disclosure A new study from the University of Michigan highlights the value of reciprocal self-disclosure in building connections with others. The researchers conducted several studies, […]

Peer mentoring programs have enormous potential….but there’s a catch

By Jean Rhodes In a recent meta-analysis, my colleagues and I found that the effect size for cross‐age peer mentoring was more than double that observed in previous meta‐analyses of intergenerational mentoring. We concluded that “cross‐age peer mentoring can offer feasible and efficient opportunities to have older peers mentor youth with the potential for mutual […]

Who was your favorite mentor? Survey sheds light on youth’s “most meaningful” mentors

By Jean Rhodes Although many young people have had multiple and even concurrent mentors there is often one mentor who stands out from all the rest. In MENTOR’s impressive recent survey of childhood mentoring experiences (N = 2,639), authors Michael Garringer & Chelsea Benning describe this mentor as “the one that we first think of […]

Case managers’ influence on mentee-mentor match outcomes

Karcher, M. J., Sass, D. A., Herrera, C., DuBois, D. L., Heubach, J., & Grossman, J. B. (2023). Pathways by which case managers’ match support influences youth mentoring outcomes:Testing the systemic model of youth mentoring. Journal of Community Psychology, 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcop.23010 Summarized by Megyn Jasman Notes of Interest: Match support providers in mentoring programs, such […]