Mentoring Impact

Why become a mentor?

Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Yet at least one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset.

At least 1 in 3 young people will grow up without a mentor.

Youth With a Mentor Are:



more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities.



more likely to have held a leadership position in a club or sports team.



more likely to have experienced a strong sense of belonging while growing up.

Adults who were mentored as youth report long-lasting impact…



of those who had a meaningful mentor say that person contributed significantly to their success later in life.



of young adults say that this key relationship has helped them with issues related to their education.



say their mentor has supported their mental health.

Mentoring provides meaningful connections that impact the people involved and influence their lives at home, at work, and in their communities. For those who are being mentored, it is linked to improved academic, social and economic prospects. For those who are mentoring, the relationship can build leadership and management skills, expand a mentor’s professional network, and provide an empowering opportunity to give back to the community.

Become a Mentor Today


Mentoring has significant positive effects on two early warning indicators that a student may be falling off-track:

High levels of absenteeism (Kennelly & Monrad, 2007)

  • 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. (Public/Private Ventures Study of Big Brothers Big Sisters)

Recurring behavior problems (Thurlow, Sinclair & Johnson, 2002)

  • Young adults who face an opportunity gap but have a mentor are 55% more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor. (The Mentoring Effect, 2014)
  • In addition to better school attendance and a better chance of going on to higher education, mentored youth maintain better attitudes toward school. (The Role of Risk, 2013)

Daily Life

By being a consistent adult presence in a young person’s life, mentors can offer advice, share life their experiences, and help a young person navigate challenges.

Youth who meet regularly with their mentors are:

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)

Young adults who face an opportunity gap but have a mentor are:

81% more likely to participate regularly in sports or extracurricular activities than those who do not. (The Mentoring Effect, 2014)

A study showed that the strongest benefit from mentoring, and most consistent across risk groups, was a reduction in depressive symptoms — particularly noteworthy given that almost one in four youth reported worrisome levels of these symptoms at baseline. (The Role of Risk, 2013)

Mentoring promotes positive social attitudes and relationships. Mentored youth tend to trust their parents more and communicate better with them. (The Role of Risk, 2013)


One study estimates that the human potential lost as a result of the educational achievement gap is the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession. By preparing young people for college and careers, mentoring helps develop the future workplace talent pipeline. (Mentoring: At the crossroads of education, business and community, 2015)

Mentors can also prepare their mentees for professional careers and assist with their workplace skills by:

  • Helping set career goals and taking the steps to realize them.
  • Using personal contacts to help young people network with industry professionals, find internships, and locate possible jobs.
  • Introduce young people to resources and organizations they may not be familiar with.
  • Skills for seeking a job, interviewing for a job, and keeping a job.

The number of ways mentoring can help a young person are as varied as the people involved in each program. While the lists and statistics can be impressive, personal stories can be even more impressive. Take a look at some mentoring success stories to see the impact of mentoring in real life.

Why Mentoring Matters Right Now

The Who Mentored You? study found that 1.8 million young people have grown up with virtually no adult support.

Today’s 18-to-21-year-olds express unmet mentoring needs around depression, anxiety, and suicidality at four times the rate of Baby Boomers and more than double the rates for Millennials. They are even 47% more likely than their slightly older 22-to-24-year-old peers to cite mental health challenges as the 67% of today’s 18-to-21-year-olds can remember a time where they needed a mentor but didn’t have one. Youth who identify as BIPOC and those from lower income levels express significantly higher rates of unmet mentoring need.

54% of young people who wished they had a mentor at a key time were dealing with a serious issue or major challenge (including family issues, mental health challenges, substance abuse, or physical or sexual abuse).