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The Importance of Mentors

Now that you're "all grown up," you can probably name an adult who had a positive influence in your life—your mentor. Think about how that relationship shaped you.

Many children, teens especially, need a mentor in their life to help them make decisions.

Research shows that these relationships have many positive benefits to the student. A 2002 Child Trends report titled "Mentoring Programs and Youth Development: A Synthesis" (opens new window) summarizes the benefits of mentoring relationships:

ACT research shows that children of all ages rely on school relationships to reach educational goals. The roles a mentor plays in a person's life are many—friend, advisor, tutor and conscience.

Mentors for high school juniors and seniors can be especially important during the college planning cycle. These partnerships can provide a great deal of motivation, support and encouragement while a teen makes some big decisions about his or her future.