There is widespread agreement that having mentors throughout our lives is a healthy and beneficial thing, providing us with the guidance, role modeling, and connections we need to successfully navigate life’s sometimes choppy waters.
But to what degree do our youth mentoring programs prepare youth for having a lifetime full of mentors? Programs obviously put a lot of time and effort into making sure that the mentoring relationships they provide are successful and productive. But I wonder how much effort programs put into that longer-term vision of mentoring. Should mentoring programs see part of their mission as preparing youth for their next mentors, the ones that come after they are done with their program? Or is that beyond the scope of what a program should provide? Is a good experience in your program enough to teach mentees how to get similar support down the road? How important is it that we teach youth to view mentoring as a long-term part of their life, not just something your program provides for a year or two?
To get a better understanding of how the practitioners who visit this site view this issue, we’ve put together a little poll below of options around supporting mentees’ search for future mentors. Please take a minute to vote in the poll and tell us more about how your program thinks about this in the comment section.
[Photo courtesy of feserc.]