Teen mentoring is the relationship between a caring, more experienced individual and a less experienced person resulting in the provision of support, friendship, and constructive role modelling consistently over a period of time.
Teen mentoring programs match high-school aged youth with elementary or middle-school aged mentees in a sustained, usually formalized, developmental relationship2. Teens are trained and supported to mentor and serve as positive role models to mentees in a structured environment under the supervision and guidance of school staff. Mentors and mentees meet regularly and consistently, typically for one to two hours each week, at school, over the course of a semester or an entire school year where they engage in activities to establish a caring relationship and promote the program’s goals and objectives3. A minimum 2 year age / grade difference between teen mentor and younger mentee is an important factor, with Teen mentoring is also referred to as cross-age peer mentoring4 and youth-delivered mentoring.
This video highlights one of the many teen mentoring programs underway in Alberta:
Benefits of Teen Mentoring
The chart below outlines evidence-based outcomes and positive benefits for both mentors and mentees:
Benefits for Mentors:
Benefits for Mentees:
Ongoing communication of consistent, key messages on the value of teen mentoring is essential to establish a shared vision and enlist stakeholder support for implementing a teen mentoring program in your school or community. Resources provided here, such as a one-page promotional tool, postcard, and Power Point presentation, may be used to promote teen mentoring or to communicate information about the Teen Mentoring Toolkit (TMT), and how it may be used and adapted to different audiences and to unique context.