Market Overview

National Data Highlights Power of Mentoring Relationships to Unite Us

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BOSTON, July 26, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At a time when much of the focus is on what divides us, a study released today shows that there is something the majority of Americans agree on: mentoring relationships are powerful tools for connection and are critical to our country's future. Americans are overwhelmingly crossing racial, economic, and other bridges to mentor young people outside their families.

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The Power of Relationships: How and Why American Adults Step Up to Mentor the Nation's Youth is the most comprehensive picture of what adults think about mentoring kids who are not in their family. In 2014, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership released The Mentoring Effect, the most comprehensive look at young people's views on and engagement with mentoring. The Power of Relationships is a follow-up to that piece with findings from adults' perspectives.

The report, produced by MENTOR with generous support from AT&T and in partnership with Pacific Market Research, uncovers findings about structured mentoring, informal mentoring, and how adults in the United States think about the movement to bring meaningful mentoring relationships to every child.

"The research shows what we see every day across the country but not enough in our national discourse: When adults are given a bridge, we are overwhelmingly willing to cross it for the young people in our communities," said David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR. "It also powerfully portrays the importance of training and supporting adults to be at their best when mentoring young people so we can maximize the positive results of these relationships."

Based on a nationally representative survey of adults and a literature review of related studies, The Power of Relationships' key findings reveal that:

 Mentoring Unites Us

  • 73% of mentors are mentoring youth of a different ethnicity.
  • 78% of mentors are mentoring youth of a different socio-economic status.
  • A vast majority of adults view mentoring as a strategy to make communities healthier and more connected, while also addressing many causes of inequality.

 The Mentoring Movement is Growing and is Poised for Continued Growth

  • More than two-thirds of adults are already mentoring or willing to consider it.
  • 44% of adults are not yet mentoring but are willing to consider it.
  • 18- to 29-year-olds are more than twice as likely to cite having had a mentor in their childhood than those over 50. Almost half of today's young adults report having a mentor in their youth and those rates appear to have been rising steadily over the past several decades.
  • 24 million adults report serving as structured mentors. When multiplied by the average number of hours they report mentoring a month, adults engage in a staggering 485 million hours of mentoring through community programs each month.
  • 44 million adults report stepping into the informal mentor role without the support of a program. Informal mentors spend 655 million hours informally mentoring young people every month.

 There is Broad-based Support for Public and Private Investment in Mentoring

  • 83% of respondents agree with government investment in youth mentoring, especially when charitable support is absent.
  • Nearly nine in 10 adults feel that more mentoring is needed in our country.
  • Two-thirds of Americans consider it highly important for young people to have mentors, and this same population estimates that only a quarter of youth have the mentors they need.

 Workplace Support for Mentoring Holds Double Bottom Line

  • When an employer directly supports youth mentoring, the percentage of their employees who mentor youth triples in size – from 25% to approximately 75%.
  • Findings show strong correlations between higher career satisfaction and higher job satisfaction for employees of companies who support youth mentoring than for those whose employers do not. This held true regardless of whether the individual mentored or not.
  • When employers support youth mentoring, 73% of employees report strong career satisfaction.

 For the full report, or more information on key findings, please visit www.mentoring.org/PoR.    

Erin Souza-Rezendes
MENTOR: The National Mentoring  Partnership
774-644-0176
esouza@mentoring.org

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