A 2002 TimeWarner/AOL survey called “Mentoring in America” revealed that 11% of polled adults had served as a formal mentor to a youth and 99% of those said they enjoyed it and would recommend it to a friend. They also found that as many as 57 million adults say they would like to mentor if they only knew how to get started. (There are 47 million students in U.S. schools, so if all of these potential mentors signed up, every student in the U.S. could have a mentor.)
Working with Communities In Schools of San Antonio, and with the support of the Office of K-16 Initiatives at UTSA and the William T. Grant Foundation, our study will examine how school-based mentoring program coordinators can recruit better mentors and facilitate more sustained mentoring relationships with mentees in grades 5 through 12. Students of all races and ethnic groups will participate, but special attention will be paid to the effects of school-based mentoring on Hispanic students, in part because on average 50% of Hispanic students in San Antonio do not graduate from high school. Mentors for the study will be recruited from local colleges, businesses, and religious/civic organizations, and will be asked to commit to 7 months of participation. To increase the likelihood of having a positive impact, mentors will receive constant support and monthly supervision and training to increase their competence and satisfaction with mentoring.