Traditionally, youth mentoring has focused on those children and adolescents who are considered to be at risk or “underserved.” Associated with these categories are academic failure, dropout, limited parental involvement, drug and alcohol abuse, and high exposure to violent surroundings.These deficits, combined with limited community resources (e.g., youth facilities, athletic clubs, and violence prevention programs), as well as the breakdown of the traditional family unit, have been thought to produce a feeling of social detachment among youth.
Essays On Mentoring
Youth mentoring has also demonstrated an influence in building resiliency; character and competence; and a sense of connectedness with school, peers, and family.
Although youth mentoring is widely praised for its positive impact on the lives of young folks, it has also been criticized for the moralistic approach that it takes in trying to “fix” the deficits of socially detached, and even socially excluded, youngsters.
Terms like at risk, high risk, and underserved focus more on stigmatizing and grouping individuals rather than addressing the larger structural forces that create these prescribed categories.
Mentoring research has observed that children and adolescents in mentoring relationships, lasting twelve months or longer, show improvements in both academic and behavioral outcomes.
Those in more brief interactions report a smaller degree of impact.