Positive youth development research has long demonstrated that youth benefit from close, caring relationships with adults who serve as positive role models. Today, 8.5 million youth continue to lack supportive, sustained relationships with caring adults. Mentoring - which matches youth with responsible, caring mentors, usually adults - has been growing in popularity as both a prevention and intervention strategy over the past decades.
Mentoring provides youth with mentors who can develop an emotional bond with the mentee, have greater experience than the mentee, and can provide support, guidance, and opportunities to help youth succeed in life and meet their goals. Mentoring relationships can be formal or informal with substantial variation, but the essential components include creating caring, empathetic, consistent, and long-lasting relationships, often with some combination of role modeling, teaching, and advising.
Foundation and philanthropic support for mentoring programs from around the Web.
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Bill Drayton, Ashoka founder, coined the phrase “social entrepreneur” instead of almost naming it as “public service entrepreneur”. He strongly encourages empathy especially through the education sector, and explains why having that trait is more important than ever now.