Inspiring the Future
Globally, one out of seven youth are unemployed, and one out of six adolescents are not in school. Conflict around the world has resulted in forced displacement with half of the world’s refugees under the age of 18. From stress to lack of skills or opportunities, young people can be overwhelmed by the transition from school to work. These factors combined with teenagers’ general lack of self-confidence contribute to a fear of the future.
It is vital that we invest in young people’s education since it is directly correlated to employment opportunities. Research from the National Mentoring Partnership confirms that “mentoring can be a critical component of successfully supporting youth career engagement and workforce development.” One strategy to support this is through positive mentoring relationships that allow young people to explore different career options, develop their skills, and stay engaged in school. Mentor supports UN Sustainable Development Goal 4.4, Increase the number of youth who have relevant skills for employment, and to fulfil this goal we have created two programs, Mentor Inspo and Mentor Boost. Both programs aim to bridge the gap between school and work.
Mentor Inspo brings together volunteers from all walks of life to share insights into an array of professions through an interactive, personal experience. Online or IRL, Mentor Inspo volunteers spend a few hours with a group of middle school students. Each volunteer shares a 20 minutes presentation about themselves where they discuss their background, their job, and share advice/answer questions. If in person, Mentor Inspo day ends with a mingle where students have the opportunity to approach volunteers individually and ask more questions.
Mentor Boost is aimed at middle school. It’s inspiring half-day with a focus on who you want to be and what you want to do. The aim is to increase study motivation and equip students for the future. It includes a workshop with lecture, inspiration and practical exercises on site at the school. The students work in small groups together with a coach from working life. Time consumption approximately three hours per occasion outside the school, as well as 1 hour pre-meeting.
Mentor Inspo took away my stress with school choices and explained how it's not a decision for life and it's always possible to change along the way.Mentor Inspo Participant, Sweden
A study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and our own internal evaluations show that participants in our mentor programs report positive outcomes:
94% of students think it was rewarding to meet a Mentor volunteer.
80% say the program gave them inspiration and knowledge.
78% felt more inspired for the future.
55% are more likely to go to college.