Mentoring works. We know this from the real-life experiences of our scholars and mentors.
Research confirms this. A Brief published by Child Trends (“Mentoring: A Promising Strategy for Youth Development”) found that youth who participate in mentoring relationships experience a number of positive benefits. In terms of educational achievement, mentored youth have better attendance; a better chance of going on to higher education; and better attitudes toward school. (visit www.mentoring.org for more information).
The financial support we provide our scholars is critical to our mission of helping East Bay youth earn a college degree. But it is the personal piece—those one-to-one relationships—that truly make it possible for our scholars to succeed. Studies consistently support this; for example, students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip a class. They are also 46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs and 27% less likely to start drinking (Public/Private Ventures study of Big Brothers Big Sisters).
Each of us can probably identify at least one, if not several, “mentors” who played a key role in our lives. Whether formally or informally, having a champion on your side helped you cope with the challenges of your high school and college years. Mentors provide young people with an experienced friend who is there to help in any number of situations.
Mentors help young people set career goals and start taking steps to realize them. Mentors can use their personal contacts to help students meet industry professionals, find internships and locate job possibilities. Mentors introduce young people to professional resources and organizations they may not know about.
Perhaps most important, mentors provide a consistent and positive presence in a young person’s life.
Please consider becoming a mentor. Many of our mentors tell us that the experience is just as meaningful to them as it is to the students. You can make a difference for an East Bay College Fund Scholar.