A response to the critique of the Brookings Institute report on mentoring

by Phillip Levine, Ph.D. I am grateful for the attention that my analysis has received and I believe there is more common ground here than one might otherwise gauge based on this critique (see below). Much of the critique is focused on the scope and nature of the evidence. My analysis was clear in restricting […]

How to win friends and influence mentees

by Jean Rhodes Nearly 80 years after its publication, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People remains one of the best-selling books of all time (30 million copies!). This led me to wonder whether some of the interpersonal skills that Carnegie highlights might be helpful to the millions of mentors working with today’s youth? The answer is […]

Professors Are Prejudiced, Too

A recent study, conducted by Katherine Milkman and her colleagues, highlights the barriers that women and students of colors face as they try to succeed in school and build their careers. As detailed in the NYTimes article below, the researchers sent over 6,000 emails to professors at elite institutions, asking for the opportunity to be […]

Psychological growth in the aftermath of trauma

by Jean Rhodes The marathon bombing occurred one year ago and, as Boston marks the anniversary of this tragic event, many stories of the survivors have been highlighted. There is no question that this traumatic event left an indelible mark on many lives, forever shaping how its victims view themselves and the world around them. […]

College admissions and the “rich, inexpressible joy” of mentoring

by Jean Rhodes In Jon Katz’s book Geeks, he chronicles the ascension of two somewhat adrift boys into IT-related jobs and postsecondary education. Through the process of writing the book, Katz’s relationship with one of the boys, Jesse, deepened into a close bond. As Katz describes: “When we first met, I could see that he […]

Raising the bar: Leveraging the science of relationships to improve youth outcomes

by Jean Rhodes  This past week, Mentoring Central and Big Brothers Big Sisters announced an important collaboration that is likely to send ripples throughout the entire mentoring community.  BBBSA will adopt a customized version of Mentoring Central’s online mentor training program for use with up to 100,000 mentoring volunteers. The user-friendly course allows for “on-demand” interactive multimedia learning […]

Expressing (and accepting) gratitude in the new year

By Jean Rhodes A few years ago, my doctoral student and I published a study that drew a great deal of media attention. For about a week, my quiet academic life was punctuated with a flurry of interview requests from reporters at National Public Radio, “Dateline NBC,” “ABC News,” WebMD, The New York Times and the like. Although […]

From Supermarket Tomatoes to Apples: Aligning growth and quality through evidence

by Jean Rhodes In 2006, David DuBois and I wrote a report about the state of mentoring in which we likened aspects of the mentoring movement to supermarket tomatoes. As we argued, the field’s expansive growth goals in the 1990’s and early 2000’s had moved youth mentoring toward a mass production approach. That is, in […]

Transitioning to adulthood amidst uncertainty: How apprenticeships can help

by Jean Rhodes Coming of age has never been more confusing. Traditional economic and social markers of adulthood have all but vanished, leaving a generation of youth in limbo. Our collective notions of the transition to adulthood — young people finishing high school or college and marching lockstep into lifelong jobs, marriages, and mortgages — […]

Prevention, neurobiology, and children’s mental health

By Jean Rhodes In a recent New York Times article, Benjamin Fong wrote about psychology’s embrace of cognitive neuroscience, and the debates that surround the merits of the new large, federal investment in the Brain Initiative. After running through the arguments on both sides, he made an important point that is often overlooked but which […]