Teen Mentoring Toolkit
Tools for planning, implementing and evaluating a quality school or community-based teen mentoring Initiative
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 initiatives match older students (high school, junior high, middle school) with younger elementary or middle-school aged mentees in a sustained, usually formalized, developmental relationship. 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 and/or mentoring organization 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 objectives. Teen mentoring is also referred to as cross-age peer mentoring, peer mentoring and youth-delivered mentoring.
This video highlights one of the many teen mentoring programs underway in Alberta:
Benefits of Teen Mentoring:
Evidence-based outcomes and positive benefits for both mentors and mentees:
Benefits for Mentors:
- Improvements in moral reasoning and empathy
- Increased connection to school and community
- Ability to relate better to parents
- Increase in self-esteem
- Enhanced organizational skills
- Develop skills in problem-solving, communication, and conflict resolution
- Feel good about giving back and helping others
- Sense of generosity and leadership
- Improved resilience
- Improved grades/academic achievement
Benefits for Mentees:
- Positive attitudes toward and connectedness to school and peers
- Enhanced self-efficacy
- Improved grades, academic motivation and achievement
- Improved social skills and behaviour
- Improved resiliency
- Strengthened relationships with family and peers
- Feeling heard/listened to
- Feeling less isolated
- Decreased anxiety
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
Teen Mentoring, a program of Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations across Canada, is a friendship-based, non-academic program that matches high school students with children in elementary school for one hour a week. Matches play sports, read, do crafts, play board games and hang out, depending on the interests of the mentee and the mentor.
Indigenous Youth Membership Program (IYMP)
IYMP is an after-school healthy living program. It is delivered by Indigenous high school students for elementary school children with the support of a Young Adult Health Leader (YAHL) chosen by the community. IYMP typically runs once per week for 90 minutes, delivering healthy snacks and vigorous intensity physical activity for at least 20 weeks throughout the school year. Co-developed with Indigenous youth, educators, and researchers, IYMP promotes well-being, resiliency, and overall positive mental health. It is grounded theoretically in teachings of Indigenous scholars.
“We acknowledge that we are on and support Mentoring for Youth in the traditional territories across Alberta of the many First Nations from Treaty 6,7,& 8, the Métis of the 8 Alberta Settlements, and Inuit people whose footsteps have marked these lands for centuries.”