One question that we are often asked is why does mentoring work? How can it make a difference? Anecdotal stories abound, and we love to hear those. But we also like to see the impact in numbers. Every year, LSS asks mentors to assess their students progress in nine areas – grades, interest in school, school attendance, behavior, self-esteem, opening up to their mentor, reading, attitude, and level of conscientiousness.
In several instances, mentors did not know if their student improved or not. For example, they don’t talk about grades (especially in early elementary years) or just know that grades are not an issue for that child. There were a little over 500 responses to our survey and here is how the numbers looked for the 2015-16 school year.
- Grades: 170 students improved; 133 maintained
- Interest in School: 229 students showed more interest in school; 160 maintained
- Attendance: 117 improved; 240 maintained
- Behavior: 304 improved their behavior; 160 maintained good behavior
- Self-Esteem: 346 showed an increase; 133 maintained
- Opening up to their Mentor: 410 were more open as the year progressed; 96 maintained
- Reading: 149 improved; 171 maintained
- Attitude: 298 had a better attitude; 171 maintained
- Conscientiousness: 245 were more conscientious; 181 maintained same level of conscientiousness
There were a half dozen or so students who did not improve in at least one area. It does not mean the student is destined for failure or the mentor is inadequate. What we do know is that 100% of students who had a mentor have a relationship with a trusted adult to listen to their concerns and offer advice – whether they accepted that advice or not, at least they heard it. And in many cases, a mentor is the only consistent adult to offer a different perspective. We can’t put a number on it or measure that impact, but we have to believe that someday it makes a difference.
If you need further proof that mentoring works, apply today and see for yourself! We promise you will learn something new and enjoy your experience!
Post by Michelle Madsen