Mentoring Solutions for Sustaining Youth Employment

By Charline Alexandre- Joseph, Reprinted from the National Youth Employment Coalition

In this time of social distancing and multiple pandemics, MENTOR thinks a lot about power, privilege, and opportunities, especially when it comes to how young people will access the job market. Last September, Equitable Futures surveyed approximately 1,200 young people ages 15- to 21-years old and found 39% of the respondents were Very Concerned or Extremely Concerned that the Coronavirus will affect their future job or career prospects – meaning almost 4 in 10 youth surveyed were concerned about the Coronavirus impacting their professional future (2020).

30 years ago, MENTOR was created to expand opportunity for young people by building a youth mentoring movement, serving as the expert and go-to resource on quality mentoring. As a result, there was more than a 10x increase in young people engaged in structured mentoring relationships, from hundreds of thousands to millions. We provide evidence-based practice and high-quality research for mentoring field.

MENTOR recognizes that systemic and growing inequity manifests as gaps in opportunity, networks, and access to adult relationships outside of families. Today, we activate a movement across sectors that is diverse and broad and seeps into every aspect of daily life. We are connecting and fueling opportunity for young people everywhere they are from schools to workplaces and beyond.

In December, MENTOR presented at the 2020 NYEC Annual Forum. As a first-time facilitator, we were very excited to present “Occupational Legacy: Creating Social Capital for Young People in the Workplace Mentoring”. Our session focused on how to treat social capital for young people in the workplace. As MENTOR is activating a movement across sectors to expand and fuel opportunity for young people, we found this to be a wonderful opportunity to share our work, including our high-quality resources and evidence-based practices for workplace mentoring.

Our nation is at another crucial point in the ever-present need for social justice and equity. Employers are a critical part of a young person’s social capital bridge—meaning employers can support youth’s access to other networks by increasing their career pathway options and ideas. The power of mentorship is pretty clear, “People with mentors perform better, advance in their careers faster, and even experience more work-life satisfaction. And mentors benefit, too. After all, ‘to teach is to learn twice.’” (Harvard, & Horoszowski, 2020). It’s a big job and MENTOR is excited to partner with organizations who are ready to develop new workplace mentoring programs or enhance existing ones. MENTOR provide strategies that help organizations think about retaining young employees by using a mentoring mindset and relationship-centered practices.

To learn more about MENTOR’s workforce development initiative, please visit



Equitable Futures. (October 2020). Striving to Thriving: Full Report. <>

Harvard, & Horoszowski, M. H. (January 2020). How to Build a Great Relationship with a Mentor. Harvard Business Review, <>

To access the resource, please click here.