Finding a Mentor

Relationship Skills

Family Resources on Finding a Mentor

Lesson Topic

For students to gain an understanding of how mentors can help them grow in positive ways and learn about career readiness.

Essential Question

What are important qualities for me to look for in a mentor?

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Finding a Mentor – George

If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students analyzed the characteristics of effective mentoring relationships. In class students discussed the various characteristics and experiences that adult mentors can provide for adolescents and young adults. In groups students compared and discussed the important characteristics students should seek in quality adult mentors.

Getting Ready for the Conversation

The video for this module features a young adult named George who was incarcerated as a teenager, but now with the help of mentors, he works in a construction apprenticeship program and has friends who also are involved in positive pursuits. George shares how mentors continue to make a difference in his life.

Conversation notes:
Many adolescents make poor choices particularly because sometimes criminal activity seems like the best way to make a living. For George this was a mistake, but with the help of mentors and positive friends he has learned from his experience.

For more on mentorship check out this article at the Search Institute blog:

As this story from NPR shows mentorship provides opportunities for youth:

Constructive Conversation Starters

The first item is for follow-up after viewing the lesson video and participating in class activities.

What are some of the most interesting characteristics of a mentor you discussed in class? Why do you think these apply to you?

Think about someone you look to as a mentor. What are the characteristics of your relationship with this person? Why are these characteristics (or experiences) important to your growth?

Do the youth your age have adequate mentors in our community? Describe why you believe as you do. What can we do as a family or community to either improve the situation or to make sure and maintain the situation in our community? Why should we do this?

School to Home Resources on Finding a Mentor

Lesson Plan

Making responsible decisions

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In the video, George says “to live life again and live it the right way”. Who in your life helps you decide to live life “the right way”? Describe the key parts of a mentor’s relationship that encourages you to make responsible decisions.

Hope for the Future

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In the video, George discussed how in prison he was hopeless. George’s mother says, “seventeen years old is too young to not believe in the future”. Why are all of these people concerned about George being hopeless? Why do you think that people who have a sense of hope for the future make responsible choices?

Mentors help youth find their way

George clearly is thankful that he did not have to serve his full sentence. While every state has a separate legal system for juveniles, there are debates regarding the purposes of the juvenile justice system. Read the article from Pacific Standard. If George had not gotten help from mentors and friends, what likely would have happened to him as he became a young adult? Why do you believe this?

Finding a mentor

The National Mentoring Partnership provides information about adult mentors. In the film George’s mentor is mentioned but we do not see this person. Why is mentorship important? Who are your mentors? If you need an adult mentor, what actions can you take to find one?

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