Learn More: Mentoring

What is High Quality Mentoring?

High quality mentoring involves trained and supported mentors facilitating a variety of youth development and enrichment experiences, helping youth explore and affirm their identity, providing navigational support around school-to-work and school-to-college transitions, and buffer against adversity in-school, out of school, and over the summer.

Technical assistance for mentoring at the Hub will be led by MENTOR.

Why Implement High Quality Mentoring?

Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and supports and affirms their identities and goals. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Trained and supported mentors facilitate a variety of youth development and enrichment experiences, help youth explore and affirm their identity, provide navigational support around school-to-work transitions, and buffer against adversity in-school, out of school, and over the summer. Yet one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset.

Young people who are facing life challenges but have mentors are more likely to aspire to attend and to enroll in college, more likely to report participating in sports and other extracurricular activities, and more likely to report taking on leadership roles in school and extracurricular activities and to regularly volunteer in their communities.

See Mentoring In Action

Learn More! Additional Resources

The resources below provide additional information on high quality mentoring.

Mentoring and Education Outcomes


Strong, caring relationships with adult and peer mentors have long played a crucial role in helping young people thrive academically and overcome challenges they face while at school and at key points in their educational journey. These mentoring relationships for students can be provided at school through volunteer programs embedded in the school day or through afterschool programming, as well as through community-based organizations that operate mentoring services outside of schools.

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The youth mental health crisis is real, but teachers can’t solve it alone

David Shapiro and Stephanie M. Jones

The U.S. surgeon general this month issued a stark warning about the state of mental health among America’s youth. Citing mounting evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to social isolation, feelings of hopelessness and self-harm among adolescents, his public health advisory urged immediate action to support young people’s mental health and well-being.

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In His State of the Union Address, President Biden Called on All Americans to Step Up for Students. Here Are 3 Places to Start

David Shapiro

Two years into the pandemic, the student mental health crisis is finally getting the attention it deserves. On the biggest stage in politics, President Joe Biden used part of his State of the Union address to call on all Americans to step up to support students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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National Mentoring Resource Center

Our goal is to improve the quality and effectiveness of youth mentoring across the country through increased use of evidence-based practices and sharing practitioner innovations.

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Virtual Mentoring Was Invaluable During the Pandemic. Keeping It Going Can Close the Gap for the 1 in 3 Students Who Need a Mentor’s Help

David Shapiro and Kate Schrauth

Early on, it seemed mentoring could be another casualty of the pandemic, the developmental relationships so many young people depended on for guidance and stability dissipating right when they were needed most.

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When Relationships Come First in Schools, Success Follows

Jean Eddy and David Shapiro

After more than a year of disrupted school for most of the country, we know that meaningful relationships are a powerful part of our young people’s lives. Based on our work and research, we also know they play a key role in helping kids explore and navigate potential future pathways. 

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America’s Students Need Us More Than Ever

Van Jones, David Shapiro, and Deborah Marcus

As many of our nation’s young people returned to school campuses to reconnect with teachers, coaches, and classmates this fall we rejoiced in their voices and comradery from the bus stops, classrooms, and playgrounds. 

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