Written By: YJ Jun (AALEAD Volunteer)
This January, we are celebrating National Mentoring Month at AALEAD!
Just how important is mentorship for K-12 students? Students with at least one non-parental adult mentor are more likely to graduate high school, engage in community service, become leaders, and apply to college (and apply to higher-ranked colleges). They’re also less likely to miss a day of school, use drugs, or engage in violent activities. More importantly, students with adult mentors develop more confidence and self-esteem, namely in adjusting to college campuses, finding the right career, or dealing with difficult home situations. These benefits are present even when students are randomly matched with adults, but grow stronger when the match is better, and are stronger for youth who are at risk or from marginalized communities. Even when they weren’t able to meet in person during the COVID-19 pandemic, mentors who maintained virtual contact helped students weather pandemic-related challenges such as social isolation, concerns about the physical safety of their loved ones, and difficulties adjusting to online schooling.
As we celebrate National Mentoring Month in January, find out more about how you can get involved: