Posts

The mentoring paradox, and how to solve it

by Jean Rhodes In a forthcoming book, “Older and wiser: Rethinking youth mentoring for the 21st Century,” (Harvard University Press), I explore why the field of mentoring has remained somewhat decoupled from the more rigorous guidelines of prevention science, and has been granted considerable immunity from the consequences of disappointing findings over the years. Although […]

Natural mentoring for foster youth moves from theory to practice

By Devon Ziminski, The Chronicle of Social Change Young people emancipated from the foster care system are assumed to be ready for adult life. In reality this is often not the case, but more and more organizations are stepping up to better prepare foster youth for life on their own – particularly by helping them make lasting […]

Today’s special: Friendship, with a side of purpose and direction

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction. John F. Kennedy by Jean Rhodes Although most youth interventions are developed in response to particular needs or goals, mentoring programs were conceived more broadly as an extension of informal helping relationships. For nearly a century, most volunteer mentors were tasked simply with building friendships […]

Profiles in Mentoring: A Conversation with Johanna Greeson on Natural Mentoring and Foster Care

Below is a profile of Professor Johanna Greeson. Johanna’s excellent new book will be out next month!  by Kate Powers Introduction: Johanna Greeson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Greeson received her MSW from Bryn Mawr College in 1999, and then returned to […]

The untapped potential of “natural mentoring”

Informal support from known and trusted adults makes an enormous difference By Levi van Dam, Scientific American In the United States, there are more than 5,000 mentoring organizations that facilitate “stranger to stranger” matches that support young people during the challenging period of adolescence—but only 5 percent of the participants are successfully matched with a volunteering […]

Study Finds Positive Physical and Mental Health Outcomes for Mentored Foster Care Youth

Ahrens, K. R., DuBois, D. L., Richardson, L. P., Fan, M. Y., & Lozano, P. (2008). Youth in foster care with adult mentors during adolescence have improved adult outcomes. Pediatrics, 121(2), e246-e252. Summarized by Elyssa Weber, UMB clinical psychology doctoral student Introduction: Young adults in foster care are more likely to have poorer physical and […]

Presence of natural mentors and vigilant parents leads to more positive outcomes for Black youth

Hurd, N., Varner, F., & Rowley, S. (2013). Involved-vigilant parenting and socio-emotional well-being among Black youth: The moderating influence of natural mentoring relationships. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42(10), 1583-1595. Doi: 10.1007/s10964-012-9819-y Summarized by Jessica Cunningham Background: Previous research on Black youth has often operated on a deficits or challenges based approach, which has the […]

How natural mentors help youth develop strong racial identities: Implications for school success

Child Development, 83 (4), 1196-1212. Natural mentors as key factors in promoting both racial identity and educational attainment among African American teens Problem: Great disparities in educational attainment exist between White and African American students. These differences can lead to increased rates of unemployment, poverty, and mental and physical health problems in comparison to Whites […]

How natural mentoring improves academic engagement

Hurd, N.M. & Sellers, R.M. (2013). Black adolescents’ relationships with natural mentors: Associations with academic engagement via social and emotional development. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 19 (1), 76-85. summarized by Stella Kanchewa, MA, UMB doctoral student in clinical psychology  Researchers have demonstrated the role that natural mentoring relationships play in affecting youth’s academic […]

Reclaim elders as leaders and mentors

By Raymond A. Jetson, Chief executive catalyst at MetroMorphosis and a Public Voices Fellow; The Advocate In September, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and Chief Murphy Paul announced a plan to establish an advisory council to the chief, “to advise and support the police chief in another effort to improve community-police relations and boost law enforcement transparency.” […]