National Research

MENTOR conducts national research regarding mentoring and effective best practices. The recently released “Mentoring Effect” is compelling new report on the impact of formal and informal mentoring. Visit the MENTOR website for the latest information.

Following are key messages associated with the report and its findings/implications.

There is a powerful mentoring effect demonstrated by the experiences of young people in this nationally representative survey. It is linked to improved academic, social and economic prospects, and strengthens our communities and our nation.

  • Youth with mentors are more likely to report higher engagement in positive activities.
  • Young people with mentors report higher educational aspirations and matriculation into post-secondary education, as well as greater engagement in positive activities.
  • At-risk young adults who had a mentor are more likely to:
    • Aspire to enroll in and graduate from college than those who did not have a mentor (76 percent versus 56 percent).
    • Report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities than those who did not have a mentor (67 percent versus 37 percent).
    • Hold a leadership position in a club, sports team, school council or other group than those who did not have a mentor (51 percent versus 22 percent).
    • Volunteer regularly in their communities than those who did not have a mentor (48 percent versus 27).

The mentoring effect positively impacts millions of young people now more than ever before. But one in three young people is disconnected from this powerful asset.

  • Through this report, we know that of the more than 45 million young people in the U.S., 2 out of 3 have had a mentor, whether formal or informal, by the time they reach the age of 19.
  • This means that 30 million young people, including 15 million experiencing risk factors, will have the support of a mentor by the time they reach 19.
  • But it also means that 1 in 3 young people in the U.S. reaches the age of 19 without having a mentor of any kind.
  • This number includes 9 million at-risk youth who are missing out on the critical support and connections that mentoring can provide.

The mentoring effect can be a powerful factor in reducing the number of youth disconnected from school and work, in increasing social and economic mobility, and in creating a more productive and prosperous nation.