Mentors Matter

Two True2U mentors lead an exercise in front of a classroom
True2U mentors lead a group of 8th grade students in a career exploration exercise.

January is #NationalMentoringMonth, a time to reflect on the significant impact mentors have on young people. Why does mentoring matter? The positive effects are clear:

  • Young adults who face an opportunity gap but have a mentor are:
    • 55% more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor (The Mentoring Effect, 2014)
    • 81% more likely to participate regularly in sports or extracurricular activities than those who do not have a mentor (The Mentoring Effect, 2014)
  • Students who meet regularly with their mentors are:
    • 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school, and 37% less likely to skip a class (Public/Private Ventures study of Big Brothers Big Sisters)
    • 46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs, and 27% less likely to start drinking (Public/Private Ventures study of Big Brothers Big Sisters)  
  • Mentored youth not only demonstrate better school attendance and a better chance of going on to higher education, they also maintain better attitudes toward school (The Role of Risk, 2013)

In addition to promoting success in school, mentors play a pivotal role in preparing young people for future careers by helping them understand their strengths and explore their interests, encouraging them to set professional goals, and introducing them to career paths, resources and organizations they might not know about.

True2U Youth Mentoring Program

Acknowledging the far-reaching benefits of mentoring, we helped to launch True2U in 2015. True2U is an innovative in-school mentoring program that serves 8th grade students in all 66 Cleveland Metropolitan School District schools. The program is made possible through the commitment of an estimated 400 volunteer mentors who work in teams of 2-3 to lead a small group of students. Mentoring teams meet with their students on eight Thursday mornings throughout the academic year, leading students in exercises and discussions to explore their values, interests and strengths – and how they can translate into a future career. This process helps prepare 8th graders for the critical transition from middle to high school, and informs their choice of high school from the more than 37 schools in the CMSD portfolio.

Do you want to help shape the next generation of Cleveland’s leaders? Consider volunteering as a True2U mentor for the 2018-19 academic year! Learn more about the benefits of becoming a mentor, and how you can apply, by contacting Molly Feghali at Neighborhood Leadership Institute by phone at (216) 812-8700 or via email.

Stay tuned! Throughout National Mentoring Month, we’ll be publishing guest blog posts from current True2U mentors, who will share their firsthand experiences.