Mentoring programs can be a great way to support teenagers as they navigate their way through high school and prepare for college and careers. But how do you start a mentoring program?
Successful businesses have used for decades mentoring programs for their own executives to accelerate the learning curve and give foresight about what they may need to hurdle around the bend. Giving our teens the same sort of help within their own world journey passes on the wisdom of those that have gone before and enriches their learning experience.
What Is A Teen Mentoring Program, And Why Is It Important?
A teen mentoring program is a program in which an adult mentors a teenager. The mentor provides support, guidance, and advice to the teen, who may face challenges such as school, family, or friends. It may also involve sharpening a skill or learning a new one. The mentoring relationship can last for several years and profoundly impact the teen’s life.
Mentoring programs have improved academic performance, reduced truancy, teenage pregnancy rates, and decreased gang involvement and drug use. They can also help teens develop positive relationships with adults and build self-esteem and confidence.
The main purpose behind mentoring is to help the progression of the teen beyond what they could do by themselves and or accelerate their understanding and skill level while maneuvering through their life experiences.
Many mentoring programs match mentors with teens from similar backgrounds. But a mentoring dynamic is not just an adult mentoring a teen but could be a teen mentoring a teen.
What Are Some Examples Of Mentorship Programs?
Mentorship programs pair an experienced individual with someone who can benefit from their guidance and expertise. The relationship is usually structured and reciprocal, with both parties committing time and energy to help the mentee grow and develop in their chosen field.
There are many different types of mentorship programs, but some common examples include the following:
- One-on-one mentoring: This program pairs one mentor with one mentee. The focus is usually on developing a personal relationship and providing tailored support and advice.
- Group mentoring: Rather than working with just one individual, group mentoring programs involve a small group of people being mentored by a single mentor or team of mentors. This can be useful for building community and peer support and providing opportunities to learn from each other.
- Virtual mentoring: With virtual mentoring, the relationship is maintained primarily through online communication. This can be a convenient option for mentors and mentees who live in different locations or have busy schedules.
How Do I Mentor A Teenager?
Knowing how to approach a teenager and offer mentorship can take time and effort. Here are some tips for how to get started:
- Talk to the teenager about what they want to achieve. Find out what their goals and aspirations are.
- Help the teenager set realistic goals. Once you know what they want to achieve, you can help them set achievable goals.
- Be a good role model. Teenagers often look up to adults as mentors, so it’s important to set a good example.
- Offer support and guidance. As the teenager begins working towards their goals, offer support and guidance along the way. Create an accountability piece with regular weekly or bi-weekly check ins.
- Celebrate successes together. As the teenager achieves their goals, celebrate their successes together!
What Are Mentoring Activities?
Mentoring activities are designed to help a mentee grow and develop personally and professionally. There are many different types of mentoring activities, but some common ones include the following:
- Setting and achieving goals together
- Learning a new skill
- Talking through difficult situations
- Discovering new thought leaders tor cutting edge ideas to study together
- Regular check-ins and catch-ups
- Sharing resources and advice
- Encouraging and supporting each other
These activities can take place in person or online, depending on what works best for the mentor and mentee. The important thing is regular communication and interaction between the two people involved.
How Do I Set Up A Mentoring Program?
Knowing the needs of teens is the first order of business. Contact schools, community programs, business and people who know people. Get a pulse on the need that serves your community or group and find the influencers that could be change makers for your teens.
The best mentors are those with a passion and expertise that aligns with their needs. A mentor shares their own individual journey complete with the success and failures along with what they have learned. Mentors impart not only wisdom but teach the resilience and mindset to persevere and learn as they grow.
Communities may search out for leaders in their area for help, solicit volunteers to fill the need, or an organization or school may fill the mentor position from the parents of the teens. There are organized programs that can be acquired, or mentors may bring their mentees into their own work or creation space.
Exposing youth to several thought leaders is a great addition to a program but should not replace a primary contact mentor or mentors with whom they can develop a relationship.
Finally, you need to provide support for the program. This includes training for the mentors, ongoing communication between the mentor and mentee, and regular check-ins with both parties.
How Do I Set Up A Mentoring Program?
Starting a mentoring program for teens can be a great way to make a difference in your community. It can also be a rewarding experience for you and the participants.
If you’re interested in starting a mentoring program, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, decide what type of program you want to create. There are many different types of mentoring programs, so it’s important to choose one that will fit your goals and the needs of your community.
Second, recruit mentors who are passionate about helping others and have the time and commitment to make a difference in the lives of their mentees. Finally, create clear guidelines and expectations for mentors and mentees, so everyone knows what is expected of them.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to starting a successful mentoring program for teens.
LEVEL UP TEEN is a facilitator mentoring program for the social, emotional intelligence of your teens and your family. Check out how you can become a mentor of the engaging and curriculum that has all the lesson plans and activities planned for you as you guide your teens through the journey of empowerment. Ownership, Empowerment and Creatorship have never been so fun or needed. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions and to find out how we can help your community.
“I Need A Mentor” is the latest show up on the KnowBrainerz/LevelUP Teen YouTube channel .
- What a mentor is and why YOU might need one.
- What are the roles that they play? What do great mentors do and not do?
- Where can you find mentors?
- How much do they cost?
- And have you ever considered becoming a mentor yourself?