Why Mentor

What is mentoring?
A matter of trust. Mentoring is a structured and trusting relationship that brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support and encouragement aimed at developing the young person’s competence and character. A mentor is an adult who, along with a young person’s parents or guardians, provides support, counsel, friendship, reinforcement and constructive examples of how to make choices that serve him or her. Mentors are good listeners, people who care, people who want to help young people bring out strengths that are already there. A mentor is not a foster parent, therapist, parole officer, or cool peer.

Why Mentor?
Harsh and cruel life experiences have led many of our young to believe that they are alone in the world and that no one cares.  NCMM seeks to dispel that notion by providing young people with role models who will play an active role in helping shape their development.”  By mentoring a young person, you can help redirect the course of their life – and possibly even save a life.

Is mentoring always a 1-to-1 ratio of mentor to mentored?
Responsible mentoring can take many forms: traditional mentoring (one adult to one young person); group mentoring (several adults working with larger groups of young people); peer mentoring (caring youngsters mentoring other young people).

Does mentoring require a lot of time?
Not at all! Join the National CARES Mentoring Movement by committing to mentor a youngster for a minimum of four hours per month for one year.

Where does mentoring take place?
Mentoring can take place in a wide array of settings, such as, the workplace, in a school, library or book store, at a faith-based organization, in a community setting and in the "virtual community," where e-mentoring takes place, and where it is increasingly needed—in juvenile detention facilities.

Who Should Mentor?
All are welcome! We are recruiting caring men and women who care about young people and want to help them succeed. No special skills, impressive resumes or degrees are needed to make a positive difference in a young person’s life. And we all have life experiences and wisdom to share that will benefit young people. All it takes to become a mentor is a kind and caring heart, commitment, being responsible and a good listener.

While our focus is on galvanizing large numbers of African Americans to mentor because many more of us are needed to join the ranks of our White sisters and brothers who are already there, we refer mentors to partnering organizations and school systems without regard to race or religion.

What are the Benefits to Mentoring?
The impact of a consistent mentoring relationship is life altering for the mentor and mentee!

Benefits for Mentees…

  • Increased levels of self esteem, self confidence and self-efficacy
  • Higher levels of academic achievement
  • Decrease in school drop-out rate
  • Reduction in risky behavior (i.e., drug/alcohol use, bullying, teen pregnancy, etc.)
  • Create relationships that promote trust, loyalty and integrity
  • Develop communication skills with adults and peers
  • Set and achieve personal, academic and career goals

Benefits for Mentors…

  • Expanded knowledge of advanced interpersonal and communication skills
  • Increased self awareness
  • Shared learning
  • Establish valuable and meaningful relationships
  • Make a meaningful difference in the life of a child


What are Common Mentoring Activities?
The mentoring relationship is critically important because it assures the mentee they have someone (in addition to their family) who is willing to help them navigate through life’s experiences.  Common interactions between mentors and mentees include but are not limited to: 

Academic Support

  • Mentors help keep students in school.
  • Mentors help with homework and can improve academic skills.
  • Mentors encourage life-long learning

Personal Development

  • Mentors help young people develop a healthy self- perception.
  • Mentors help young people define a personal vision for the future
  • Mentors are a sounding board – a listening ear.
  • Mentors cultivate life skills necessary to be a contributing member of our community
  • Mentors help young people develop appropriate interpersonal and relationship skills.
  • Mentors provide teens with a valuable place to spend free time.
  • Mentors reinforce family values and strong work ethic

Career Exploration

  • Mentors help young people set career goals and start taking steps to realize them.
  • Mentors can use their personal contacts to help young people meet industry professionals, find internships and locate job possibilities.
  • Mentors introduce young people to professional resources and organizations they may not know about.
  • Mentors can help their mentees learn how to seek and keep jobs.

Cultural Enrichment

  • Mentors help young people develop an appreciation for differences
  • Mentors promote cultural competency
  • Mentors expose students to enriching experiences
  • Mentors encourage students to utilize unique gifts and talents
  • In the community
  • In schools
  • In businesses
  • In the faith-based community


Myths about Mentoring

Myth 1: Mentoring requires a lot of time

Fact: Mentoring does take commitment, but not a lot of time. It is the quality of the relationship you establish with a youngster that counts most. Mentoring for about four hours a month is enough time to:

  • Encourage a child each week
  • Be available for a phone call or two
  • Listen to challenges, ideas or even jokes
  • Help with problems at school
  • Share strategies for achieving academic success
  • Have lunch or a snack
  • Attend a worship service
  • Introduce your mentee to other positive young people

Myth 2: Punitive background checks will expose my personal business

Fact: Background checks help protect children from predators and pedophiles and maintain accountability to the parents, guardians and organizations of the children we mentor. It is a necessary insurance that children will be nurtured and loved appropriately.

Myth 3: I will feel uncomfortable with a child I don't know

Fact: Youngsters are so hungry for love and affirmation; you only have to be yourself. You can hear, so listen, you have a heart, so open it; you have talents, please share them.


Did you know

Mentoring works miracles. By committing just four hours of your time each month, you can save a young person's life.

Learn More