To our Black colleagues, students, and families: You matter. Your lives matter. Your trauma and anger matter. Your voices, your stories, and your dreams matter. We mourn with you, we stand with you, and we are committed to doing the collective work of fighting racism in all places and in all forms. Our Pledge

Quality-Based Mentoring

An initiative that we created, Quality-Based Mentoring (QBM) assists youth-mentoring programs in assessing, evaluating and, ultimately, increasing the quality of their services. We believe QBM is the most important work our organization has accomplished in our history.

We use a 58-question assessment tool to guide our process and offer from a range of 200 tools and trainings to customize a tailored improvement plan for each nonprofit. We work on board development, fundraising, staff development, strategic planning, and many aspects of running a high-quality youth program. The entire process, from assessment to work plan to graduation takes over a year.

Supporting Research and Information

Our impetus to start QBM was a meta-analysis on youth programs conducted by Researcher David DuBois. Although mentoring is an evidence-based prevention strategy that can truly change lives, DuBois found only a few mentoring programs created strong positive effects in youth, and the majority of programs offered just a modest change in youth behavior. A few programs actually created worse behaviors in youth. A key finding revealed that best practices and youth outcomes are directly correlated — the more best practices a program uses, the better the youth outcomes achieved.

Our initiative is based on an identical initiative in Massachusetts, and is on the forefront of a national movement to distinguish high-quality youth programs nationwide. QBM is designed to improve best practices in youth programming, including organizational sustainability. Similar to best practices in teacher education, QBM is based on a coaching model rather than a pure training system in order to create genuine change in knowledge and behavior.