Grizzlies Foundation and MENTOR Launch Group Mentoring Model

The 16-month pilot program, which launched in January, features teams of three adult mentors working with groups of nine students. Weekly activities address career exploration and entrepreneurship, health and wellness, team-building and leadership, cultural understanding and other areas supporting the schools’ values. In addition, periodic group outings to local educational and cultural events will compliment the groups’ activities.

“The schools chosen for the pilot phase are college preparatory charter schools serving low-income children in Memphis,” said Grizzlies Charitable Foundation Executive Director Jenny Koltnow. “They are committed to helping students excel in college and in life, which is what we also aim to achieve through mentoring. Through the new team approach, we want to provide each young person with the attention and motivation needed to improve overall school performance, social skills, relationships, decision-making, self-esteem and future goals.”

This type of mentoring allows direct-service providers to reach more children at one time. And, according to Public/Private Ventures, group mentoring programs are attracting volunteer mentor applicants who might otherwise be uncomfortable with the level of intimacy and commitment needed for one-to-one matches.

“MENTOR enjoyed working with our colleagues to bring the dynamic of group mentoring to Memphis,” said MENTOR President and CEO Dr. Larry Wright. “The Grizzlies Foundation and the Memphis Mentoring Partnership are assuring that quality mentoring is accessible to even more young people and that, with the refinement that comes through a piloting phase, their model could be replicated nationwide.”

During the pilot phase, the Grizzlies Foundation expects to name additional partners, as well as additional pilot sites. For more information on this group mentoring model, go to

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