The five most popular Chronicle posts of 2020

by Jean Rhodes

Well, 2020 was not the year we anticipated. From the killing of George Floyd to the wildfires that rampaged California, to a particularly bitter political campaign that continues to divide us with baseless claims of voter fraud, and a global pandemic, 2020 will go down as one of the most difficult years in modern history.  The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring covered these topics through the lens of mentoring programs and their many affect on youth. We want to thank our readers, including our more than 12,000 subscribers, for the continued interest in the Chronicle. We know that your attention is pulled in many directions, and it’s an honor that shares some of it was us. In case you missed them, here are five of the most frequently viewed posts of 2020.

  1. Perhaps not surprisingly, many readers were drawn to the 4/20 post, The kids aren’t all right: Why mentees will be disproportionately affected by the pandemic. In fact, so many opened this post on the first day that the Chronicle briefly crashed! The article, and much of the research that has followed, has chronicled the sad toll that the pandemic has taken on our nation’s most vulnerable youth.
  2. As the COVID-19 pandemic raged into the summer and thousands of protestors gathered in the streets day after day, readers witnessed the many ways that racism, and other systems of oppression, negatively impact the lives, the health, and the mental health of racial and ethnic minorities–and how it  has disproportionately impacted Black and Latinx communities. A piece (co-authored with my extremely talented clinical psych. student, Cherrelle Jones), entitled, “Now is the time to offer solidarity and support to young people of color” spoke to the important role of caring adults in helping youth navigate systems of oppression.
  3. A major mission of the Chronicle is to bring you summaries of the latest research. This summary of a fascinating new study on”network-engaged” mentoring was the most frequently opened. Another new approach , youth-initiated mentoring, was the subject of a new meta-analysis.
  4. An early post by Prof. Adar Ben-Eliyahu about the difference between qualitative and quantitative research continues to be a perennial favorite. We also highlighted some excellent new examples of both quantitative (Mike Lyons and colleagues) and qualitative (Julia Pryce and colleagues) mentoring.
  5. 2020 included the publication of my new book, “Older and wiser: New ideas for mentoring in the 21st Century.” One of the major recommendations in the book was to enlist mentors in providing “Supportive Accountability,” an idea that launched a new supportive accountability app. Although the timing of the book’s release was not ideal–it competed with a historic pandemic and election for attention–I am deeply grateful to the mentoring organizations, including MENTOR, MENTOR Canada, the European and Asian Centers for Evidence-Based Mentoring, the Obama Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Friends of the Children, and others, that generously offered to host online presentations and book events. The holidays may be over, but you can still receive a 30% discount if you order it through Harvard University Press and enter promo code HOLIDAY20

Finally, a special thanks to the amazing Selen Amado and Karina DeAndrade for their hard work this past year. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2020!

Jean Rhodes