Mentorship has far-reaching effects, from impacting the lives of the mentor and mentee to improving the local community and even benefiting the country as a whole. Mentorship includes many things, but at the core, it helps young people to build confidence through receiving compassion, support, and encouragement from their mentor as they navigate into adulthood.
At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah, we are continuously grateful for the mentors (Bigs) in our program and their commitment to bettering the lives of the young people (Littles) in our community. Whether you are a volunteer mentor with BBBSU or in some other capacity, thank you for your dedication as a volunteer in Utah. If you are interested in getting involved as a mentor with BBBSU, take your next step here.
What is a Mentor?
At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah, a mentor is a caring, compassionate, consistent adult who is dedicated to developing a long-lasting relationship with their mentee through advising, teaching, and coaching. We refer to our mentors as “Bigs” and our mentees as “Littles”.
How Do Mentors Make a Difference?
The impact of a mentoring relationship lasts a lifetime. For youth, mentorship helps them to see positive growth in their education achievement, life skills, mental and emotional well-being, and ability to make positive choices.
Some Ways Mentees Experience Improvements in Educational Achievement
- Improved academic performance
- Increased graduation rates and lower dropout rates
- Better attitude about education and planning for the future
Students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip a class. In addition to better school attendance and a better chance of going on to higher education, mentored youth maintain better attitudes toward school.
How Mentees Work to Build Life Skills
- Healthier relationship skills and lifestyle choices
- Enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence
- Reduced risk of engaging in drug and alcohol use
Youth who meet regularly with their mentors are 46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs and 27% less likely to start drinking. A study showed that the strongest benefit from mentoring, and most consistent across risk groups, was a reduction in depressive symptoms — particularly noteworthy given that almost one in four youth report depressive symptoms.
How Mentorship Helps Youth Prepare for Life After High School
By preparing young people for college and/or career planning, mentoring ignites confidence and proposes healthy challenges for achieving more in the future. Increased education through the guidance of a mentor equips young people for a career they otherwise may have never attained.
Mentors can assist in developing their mentee’s career skills by:
- Teaching them how to create a formal resume and proper interviewing skills
- Intentionally set goals for a career and discover the necessary steps to achieve it
- Share resources and organizations for seeking employment
Mentorship presents opportunities for growth in the life of a mentor as well. The relationship between a mentor and a mentee builds the mentor’s leadership and management skills, expands their network, and provides an empowering experience of giving back to the community. Mentors may receive the following:
- An increase in self-esteem
- A sense of accomplishment
- A new community with other volunteers
Mentoring not only gives back to the community but also invests in the community’s future. Mentorship paves the way for tomorrow’s leaders by igniting their potential.
To all the mentors in the world, thank you for your commitment to being a role model to someone who needs you. Because of the Bigs in BBBSU programs, kids in Utah are able to reach their fullest potential. Being a volunteer in Utah improves our community and the future of younger generations. The relationships developed between mentors and mentees contribute immediate and long-lasting benefits for both Bigs and Littles.