National Mentoring Month: The Power of Relationships

January 2022
an adult volunteer with a student

Who has made a difference in your life? A teacher? A coach? A family friend?

Mentors benefit people of all ages, but for young people, having a caring adult in their life who offers guidance and encouragement can make an especially big impact.

Mentoring can also help support the development of social and emotional learning (SEL) skills, such as perseverance and managing emotions, which are always important—especially now, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the potential learning loss due to the challenges of distance learning, as well as social isolation from peers and other support networks, mentors may play a particularly critical role in young people’s lives today.

Education Northwest has a long history of collaborating with various youth mentoring organizations, as well as nonprofits that build these organizations’ capacity, including MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and AmeriCorps.

In honor of National Mentoring Month, we want to commend these organizations for the life-changing work they do.

Explore the following resources for tips and tools that may be helpful to mentors and/or youth mentoring organizations:

Mentoring during the COVID-19 pandemic

The MENTOR’s website offers coronavirus-related tips and resources for mentoring, such as ways to transition to virtual mentoring and shift to text-based communication.

Mentoring resources from AmeriCorps

This site includes links to checklists and resources, including free ongoing training guides for mentors.

The Harvard Mentoring Project

Housed in the Center for Health Communication at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Harvard Mentoring Project is a “national media campaign to recruit volunteer mentors for youth from underprivileged backgrounds.”

Social and Emotional Learning: Where Do You Start?

This article discusses the basics of SEL and provides information on leading by example, equity, belonging, and impact.

Youth Mentoring Program Planning and Design Resources

Here are some resources that offer ways to plan, design, and implement a youth mentoring program, as well as strategies that can help mentoring programs prepare both mentors and mentees.