Posts

What’s in it for the mentor? Seinfeld (and others) explain.

by Jean Rhodes In a classic episode of Seinfeld, a puzzled George asks Jerry what a mentor is. “The mentor advises the protégé” says Jerry, and the mentor derives “respect, admiration, prestige.” “Is there any money involved?,” asks George,”would the protégé pick up stuff for the mentor?..laundry, dry cleaning?””It’s a protégé, not a valet!” answers […]

The promise and pitfalls of mentoring in the digital age

by Jean Rhodes Considering how widespread it is, it is somewhat alarming that there is not yet a uniform standard of best practice around social media in youth mentoring. Granted, many programs have wrestled with this issue, and we sought to determine how to update the Elements of Effective Practice  and the youth mentoring Code of […]

Mentoring by the numbers: Some surprising trends in volunteer efforts

By Jean Rhodes and Elizabeth Raposa Let’s start with a pop quiz. Here goes: How many American adults, aged 18 and older served as volunteer mentors in 2015? And, #2, how have these numbers changed over the past decade? Take a few minutes to think these questions over? Ok, ready for the answer? Drawing from […]

How to strengthen the capacity of everyday caring adults

by Jean Rhodes Early into my research career, I stumbled onto an intriguing finding. In the late 1980s, Chicago had been swept into the worst crack epidemic in American history. I was working on my dissertation in a high school, hoping to uncover the strategies that a small fraction of students were using to resist the overwhelming […]

“I have seen the power of mentoring firsthand”: Hillary Clinton on the mentors who changed her life

by Jean Rhodes “At a time when there seems to be so little that people agree on, this is one mission worthy of bipartisan, broad-based support.” Hillary Clinton It’s hard to imagine that the political acrimony (and insanity) that has defined this year’s presidential election could get any worse. Understandably, there’s a strong urge to tune it […]

It’s not what you know….: The case for a networked approach to mentoring

by Jean Rhodes According to a recent Gallup poll  successful college students have one important thing in common–they all had one or more teachers who were mentors who took an interest in their hopes and dreams.  “We think it’s a big deal” where we go to college,” Gallup’s Brandon Busteed told the New York Times. But […]

“It was kind of like me sitting on a rainbow”: Reaching out to youth on the autism spectrum

By Jean Rhodes It was a simple act of kindness, caught in a photo. Travis Rudolph, a Florida State University star wide receiver, was visiting a nearby middle school last week with his teammates when he spotted a 6th grade boy sitting by himself in the cafeteria. “So I asked him, could I sit down and have lunch with […]

Other people’s children: The new reality show

by Jean E. Rhodes Imagine a reality television show in which privileged empty nesters competed to help less fortunate high school students gain entry into the nation’s highest ranked colleges and universities. The many parents who had successfully shepherded their children through the admissions process from the comfort of their homes from Greenwich to Palo […]

Older and (hopefully) wiser: A forthcoming book about youth mentoring

by Jean Rhodes I wrote Stand by Me: The risks and rewards of mentoring today’s youth fifteen years ago—my first, and what I assumed would be my final, book-length manuscript on the topic. As I write a second book on mentoring, I am struck by just how much has changed in the ensuing years. Although […]

Slow ideas and the power of mentoring

by Jean Rhodes In a recent New Yorker article, “Slow Ideas,” science writer Atul Gawande laments the resistance amongst medical professionals and others to adopt innovation. He describes how, despite evidence, physicians were slow to warm up to Joseph Lister’s simple methods of sterilization. And, in a recent visit to a hospital in northern India, Gawande described […]