Mentoring Young People

A useful article on youth mentoring.

What makes mentoring work?

Ongoing training for mentors
Structure and careful planning
Parent support/involvement
Mentoring programmes that are driven by the needs of mentees

It was good to read an article that looked specifically at the mentoring I am doing. I wish there were more in depth case studies, especially in the UK.

From recent media coverage, it seems that the government are focusing on mentoring young people; especially vulnerable young black males, in order to prevent them from entering gangs and a life of crime. Reports stated that they wanted to invite black professionals such as lawyers and business people to mentor young people as well as becoming role models.

I am not sure how I feel about the report- there are so many facets that contribute towards becoming a vulnerable young person, for example there is ongoing discrimination in the classroom that puts a lot of young black boys at a disadvantage.

The mentoring programme I am working on is quite challenging; at present the biggest issue is engaging and motivating young people through the medium of music as well as increasing their autonomy as peer mentors.



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  1. Anonymous says:

    interesting…read the report a couple of weeks ago sent out by the culture secretary making an issue of young black men not having any positive role models. i dont think its a case of ethnicity. In my experience working with projects in areas with a high number of black and asian youths in sparkhill and Aston I’ve had the privilege to observe and work alongside some of the most intelligent, talented and successful guys of any communities i have ever met, and they were ALL black and asian. its these role models or mentors that need to be given the means for dialogue and exposure. the government seemed to be complaining that all the black role models are sportsman and rap stars (which is the media’s responsibility), and want black kids to have other types of role models…what do they expect to do? take andi peters around a bunch of schools to do a talk? its the media that creates these stars and has the power to create a new type of role model if it wishes.
    but the government need to understand that there are a load of positive male role models in society of many races, they just need to be acknowledged. the report should have concentrated on the media and government. they are the major influences in society in this day and age, what makes me laugh is that only a few weeks ago there was that report on white boys in state schools statistically being the most under performing and most likely to leave with no qualifications…so whats the point on specifically targeting black male youths? Its just another way of alienating the public and making sure that there a splits in community.
    If they wanted to do something positive why doesnt the government put any black or brown people in the cabinet??? the only brown with any power is gordon (see what i did there?)…if there was more representation of minorities in the cabinet and main stream politics, there would be more of an active interest in politics from minority communities. but NO the government never takes any sort of responsibility all they ever do is release “reports” and undertake “inquiries” and nothing ever changes, things get swept under the carpet until they are needed to either take attention away from a real issue or to scare people at a later date…
    Well that’s some of my thoughts on the subject, not sure if it really has a point to your article or any point at all but anyway… would be very interesting to find out how u get on and the methods u employ in mentoring which I can imagine would be quite stressful and volatile at times, as well as the support and guidance you receive. Good luck.

    Saad

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