MENTOR’S vision is that every young person has the supportive relationships they need to grow and develop into thriving, productive and engaged adults.
MENTOR’s mission is to fuel the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships for America’s young people and to close the mentoring gap for the one in three young people growing up without this critical support.
MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) is the unifying champion for expanding quality youth mentoring relationships in the United States. For more than 25 years, MENTOR has served the mentoring field by providing a public voice; developing and delivering resources to mentoring programs nationwide; and promoting quality for mentoring through evidence-based standards, innovative research and essential tools. MENTOR has developed and supports a national network of affiliate Mentoring Partnerships that provide regional, state and local leadership and infrastructure necessary to support the expansion of quality mentoring relationships. Together, we engage with the private, public and nonprofit sectors to ensure that all youth have the support they need through mentoring relationships to succeed at home, school and, ultimately, work.
When MENTOR was founded in 1990, there were an estimated 300,000 at-risk youth in structured mentoring relationships. Today, research shows that 4.5 million at-risk youth will have a structured mentoring relationship while they are growing up. Still, our research shows that one in three young people will reach adulthood without a mentor. After rigorous screening for proof of impact and ability to scale, MENTOR was included as a member of the Social Impact 100 (S&I 100 Index), signifying that it is one of America’s top-performing 100 nonprofit organizations on this first-ever broad index of US nonprofits.
As the mentoring field has expanded over the last quarter-century, a growing body of research is advancing safe and effective practices, which MENTOR codified in the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™ (Elements). To further advance youth mentoring research and increase practitioners’ skills and knowledge in applying evidence-based practices, MENTOR formed the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Boston. MENTOR recently designed a National Quality Mentoring System using the Elements as a foundation for quality assessment, continuous improvement and recognition.
MENTOR and its affiliate network reach thousands of direct service mentoring programs to provide resources, training, on-the-ground consulting, state and regional conferences and the annual National Mentoring Summit. The Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention selected MENTOR to establish the National Mentoring Resource Center to improve the quality and effectiveness of mentoring across the country by supporting youth mentoring practitioners to more deeply incorporate evidence-based practices. More than 80 percent of these programs do not have national headquarters to provide this guidance and leadership. To help programs more effectively connect volunteers to youth, MENTOR maintains the only national database of mentoring programs, the Mentoring Connector. This resource provides mentoring programs a direct connection and visibility to national public awareness campaigns.Mentoring Connector
MENTOR increases private sector financial investments and volunteer commitments through initiatives like the Corporate Mentoring Challenge launched by First Lady Michelle Obama as an effort to promote and recognize corporate engagement in youth mentoring. MENTOR leads National Mentoring Month, a multi-media public awareness campaign to build broad-based support for quality youth mentoring. Leveraging grassroots and corporate support, collaborations with national youth-serving organizations and innovative research, MENTOR advocates for public investments in quality mentoring programs and policies to ensure safety and effectiveness.