Why Should Schools Implement Mentoring Programs?

The importance of mentoring programs in schools

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Every student’s story is unique. The challenges they face, the obstacles they overcome, their relationships with their friends and families, their academic career, their hobbies or lack thereof—all these things and so much more influence their wellbeing.   

The uniqueness of each student’s journey makes it imperative that students have a trusted, go-to person who can help them navigate their individual situations. A mentor can be that person.  

What Impact Can Mentors Have on Student Mental Health and Academic Performance?

Mentorship programs guarantee that participating students have at least one caring adult who they can turn to when they need advice or just want to talk. Mentors also play a vital role in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of their mentees. When mentors recognize their mentee is struggling to cope with challenges, they can help assure they’ll receive mental health support as appropriate and as early as possible to prevent issues from escalating. 

Students who have mentors are also more likely to:  

  • have improved mental health, confidence, and behavior
  • perform better and stay on track academically
  • attend and participate in class more than non-mentored peers
  • have better, stronger relationships and lifestyle choices 

How Can I Recruit and Manage Mentors for My School?

Mentors can be staff like teachers, counselors, school resource officers (SROs), and cafeteria workers. Older students—like high school seniors—can also be mentors to students in lower grade levels. Partnering with volunteers is another great way to recruit mentors to your program. These volunteers can be librarians, college students, guardians, and organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters—just to name a few.    

It is critical that the school confirms each mentor is safe to be around and work with students. They can do this by verifying that the mentor is not a registered sex offender or has a criminal history. It’s also important to verify if the prospective mentor has any custodial restrictions with a student(s) in your district.

Learn More

Now is the time to incorporate mentoring into your school and recruit trusted volunteers to mentor your students. To learn more about why it’s important and best strategies to implement your program, download our free white paper, Students Need Mentors. Here’s How Schools Can Give Them One.