Whitman Mentor Program

Mentor Programs' Research Findings

 What difference can a mentor make in a young person's life?

More than most people realize. A 40-year study found that nearly 70% of the kids living in the worst conditions are able to thrive nevertheless, if they are emotionally connected to some adult and within a community (Werner, 1989). Child Trends (February, 2002) reviewed studies of ten youth mentoring programs, including both national and locally based programs.  Their review compares youth randomly assigned to a mentoring program with a group of similar youth who were not assigned.

They found youth participating in mentoring relationships were:

  • 50% more likely to have fewer absences from school;
  • more likely to attend college;
  • placed a higher value on school;
  • 46% less likely to initiate drug use (minority youth were 70% less likely);
  • 27% less likely to initiate alcohol use;
  • committed fewer misdemeanors and felonies after program participation;
  • 33% less likely to hit someone;
  • had more positive attitudes toward the future, the elderly, and toward helping in general; and
  • felt they trusted their parents more and communicated better with them.