Mentoring 101

What is mentoring?

Mentoring provides a structured and trusting relationship that brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support and encouragement. The mentor is not a replacement for a parent, nor are they a counselor or teacher. Mentors are a sounding board and confidant to a young person.


How does mentoring make a difference?

There has been a great deal of international research carried out on the benefits of mentoring to a young person. Research by Joseph P. Tierney and Jean Baldwin Grossman and David L Dubois et al (see below), has shown that young mentees are:

  • Less likely to become involved in criminal activity,

  • Less likely to become involved in drug taking and alcohol abuse and

  • Less likely to leave school early

  • More likely to have improved academic performance

  • Have better relationships with their teachers and family compared to their peers who are not mentored. 


Joseph P. Tierney and Jean Baldwin Grossman (Making a difference: an impact study of Big Brother/Big Sisters) and David L Dubois et al ('Effectiveness of mentoring programs for youth: A meta-analytical review', American Journal of Community Psychology)