Older and Wiser: New Ideas for Youth Mentoring in the 21st Century (Paperback)

Older and Wiser: New Ideas for Youth Mentoring in the 21st Century By Jean E. Rhodes Cover Image

Older and Wiser: New Ideas for Youth Mentoring in the 21st Century (Paperback)

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Winner of the Eleanor Maccoby Book Award

"This engaging and well-written book is a significant advance in our understanding of when and how mentoring matters... It] lays the foundations for an approach to mentoring that is both rigorous and rich in new ideas."
--Robert D. Putnam, author of Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis

"Rhodes forces us to slam the brakes on ineffective practices and improve an industry that is devoted to the potential of our nation's children...The author's concrete recommendations will create new pathways to opportunity for youth in greatest need."
--Michael D. Smith, Executive Director, My Brother's Keeper Alliance

"A powerful assessment of what is needed to best help young people today."
--Pam Iorio, President and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

Youth mentoring is one of the most popular forms of volunteering in the world today, but does it work? Drawing on over thirty years of research and her own experience in the field, Jean Rhodes reveals that most mentoring programs fail to deliver what young people actually need. Many prioritize building emotional bonds between mentors and mentees. But research shows that effective programs go far beyond this, developing specific social, emotional, and intellectual skills.

Most mentoring programs rely on volunteers, who rarely have the training to teach these skills. Their one-size-fits-all models struggle to meet the diverse needs of mentees, and rarely take account of the psychological effects of poverty on children. Rhodes doesn't think we should give up on mentoring--far from it. Instead, she recommends "organic" mentorship opportunities--in schools, youth sports leagues, and community organizations--and shares specific approaches that can spark meaningful change in young people's lives.
Product Details ISBN: 9780674292277
ISBN-10: 0674292278
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication Date: March 1st, 2023
Pages: 240
Language: English