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 Mentor’s corporate partners to share insights into an array of professions through an interactive, personal experience. 10-12 Mentor Inspo volunteer a half day at a local high school (or equivalent) and each talk to small groups of students for about 20 minutes. They present their backgrounds, their jobs, and offer advice/answer questions. The day ends with a mingle where students have the opportunity to approach volunteers individually and ask more questions.
Mentor Boost works with volunteers to deliver 3-5 sessions at a local high school (or equivalent), providing information about the professional world and tools for how to access it. The students also develop an action plan for reaching their goals, and the program ends with a student-led project grounded in the learnings from the program.
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.