Resources through mentoring programs

Mentoring Programs have varying levels of resources. This article explores why some mentoring programs have access to more resources than others.

Mentoring programs are offered in a variety of organizations says Michigan State University Extension. The settings can be individual organizations or through partnerships such as afterschool programs or at a community center.  Examples of individual organizations that provide mentoring programs include nonprofits, foundations, universities, churches and other professional corporations or companies.  The age, size and partnerships of the sponsoring organization can determine the amount of resources that are associated with the mentoring program. Mentoring resources range from funding to access to community or educational services.  Large funding sources, federal or state, may be more prone to support a mentoring program that includes a larger and more reputable organization.  These organizations are more likely to have matching dollars, administrative support, established policy and procedure manuals, partnerships, and a sustainability plan. 

If the mentoring program is new or smaller, it may have access to less program resources.  This is due to the program needing time to establish various resources, partnerships and best practices.  But smaller mentoring programs also have benefits.  These programs may have less financial resources and partnerships, but may offer a more close-knit, family like setting.  With relationship building opportunities, staff, families and matches have time to bond and form long term connections.  These relationships are priceless and are worth more than monetary resources.

Research shows that a mentoring program can be very successful if it is developed to have a combination of resources and characteristics.  A set of suggested standards for mentoring programs to thrive and grow were created by Mentor Michigan and are entitled Quality Program Standards for Youth Mentoring. The Youth Mentoring Program Standards indicate that adequate financial and in-kind resources are needed to facilitate a quality program.

Youth who participate in planned mentoring programs that meet the Mentor Michigan Quality Program Standards are more likely to have access to needed resources to provide a valuable mentoring experience.

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