Studies show the positive effects of mentoring

AMP Proud to Present at the Rural Futures in Education Conference

On March 3rd to 5th, the Alberta Mentoring Partnership participated in the Rural Futures 2nd annual Rural Education Symposium. The Symposium provided a provincial forum for rural communities and their schools to engage in discussions, share practices, create partnerships and form support networks for rural learners. AMP shared how mentoring as a promising practice could positively impact the rural culture and diversity that rural life offers. What a great opportunity this conference provided for AMP to continue the strategic direction of increasing the awareness and capacity in rural Alberta.

Education Minister Jeff Johnson addresses the delegates during his keynote speech on March 5th.

A Big Thank You To The CWF


AMP Would like to thank the Canadian Women’s Foundation for inviting us to be part of their training session held in Calgary on February 26th, 2013. We were able to support the mentoring programs in Alberta as well as across Canada. AMP looks forward to working with this great Foundation in the future as well.

Can Mentoring Help Youth Overcome Depressive Symptoms

An article in the Impatient Optimist: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation by Dr. Carla Herrara showcases the positive effects that mentoring can have on youth, including higher-risk youth.
In recent years, there has been increasing pressure on mentoring programs to serve youth who face significant and multiple risk factors (that is, “higher-risk” youth)—for example, those in the juvenile justice system or with an incarcerated parent. But there have been many unanswered questions: Could programs reach these youth? Could they benefit them? Do programs need to change their practices to work with higher-risk youth?

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through its Pacific Northwest Initiative is the first large-scale effort to examine how the levels and types of risk youth face may influence their mentoring relationships and the benefits they experience.  The study, summarized in The Role of Risk: Mentoring Experiences and Outcomes for Youth with Varying Risk Profiles followed over 1,300 youth for 13 months and compared mentored youth to a group of similar youth who had not been offered mentoring.  Seven programs serving youth in Washington State participated, with Washington State Mentors acting as the intermediary.

Compared to their non-mentored peers, mentored youth self-reported fewer depressive symptoms, greater acceptance by their peers, more positive academic attitudes and better grades.  The strongest findings were related to depression, which has been linked to a host of short- and long-term problems for young people—an especially noteworthy outcome given that almost one in four study participants reported worrisome levels of depressive symptoms at enrollment.

Youth from all risk backgrounds benefited, with higher-risk youth showing gains that were at least as strong as those for youth from less challenging backgrounds.  However, mentors described very distinct challenges and training needs and reported different reasons why matches ended, depending on the risk profile of the youth with whom they were matched. Other findings suggested that program practices such as mentor training and regular support calls may help strengthen matches.

The study has several key takeaways for funders and practitioners, including:

  1. To maximize impact, programs should tailor match training and support to the risk backgrounds of the youth being served.
  2. Mentoring should be broadly available, as youth with varying levels and types of risk appear to benefit.
  3. Programs and funders should place a greater emphasis on the mental health needs of youth and the benefits that mentoring can provide in this area.
Importantly, the study indicates that with the right kinds of support, volunteer mentors can help even higher-risk youth make meaningful gains, which may help put them on a path toward healthy, successful futures.  

Retrieved from Impatient Optimists. (2013, March).

Youth mentoring linked to many positive effects in children, new CAMH and Big Brothers Big Sisters research shows

A study done by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and from Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada (BBBSC) shows the variety positive effects that mentoring has on children. This study was one of the largest studies done on mentoring children in Canada. Some of the results they found there that:
  • Girls with a Big Sister are two and half time more likely than girls without a mentor to be confident in their ability to be successful at school.
  • Boys with a Big Brother are three times less likely than boys without a mentor to suffer peer pressure related anxiety, such as worrying about what other children think or say about them.
  • Mentored boys are two times more likely to believe that school is fun and that doing well academically is important.
  • Mentored boys are also two time less likely than non-mentored boys to develop negative conducts like bullying, fighting, lying, cheating, losing their temper or expressing anger.
To learn more about the finding please visit the CAMH website here.

Mount Royal University – Learn and Lead

Mentoring Youth in Aboriginal and Immigrant Communities

Important consideration has to be taken when creating a mentoring program for youth in aboriginal or immigrant or refugee communities. The Alberta Mentoring Partnership has created specific guidelines to help with the creation and implementation of programs for such stakeholders. These free resources are available online through the AMP website and can also be downloaded in a PDF format.

If you and/or your organization are looking to broaden the communication of an event or program, a professional development opportunity, a mentoring success story, or valuable resource, contact us at to have it included in a future newsletter.

Alberta Mentoring Partnership
Phone: 1-888-342-6514

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