What is a Mentor?
For the purpose of the New Zealand Youth Mentoring Network, mentoring aims to provide a purposeful, structured and trusting relationship, that brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support and encouragement.” New Zealand Youth Mentoring Network
The mentor is not a replacement for a parent, nor are they a counsellor or teacher. They are a sounding board and confidant to the young person.
What is the role of a mentor?
While every mentoring programme has a different role description for their mentors they all have one common goal and that is to help a young person fulfil his or her own potential and discover his or her strengths.
Who can become a mentor?
Any caring adult can become a mentor no matter their life experiences. Characteristics they should possess include good listening and communications skills, patience and be willing to provide support and encouragement to their young mentee.
How can you find a mentoring programme in your region?
By clicking on the ‘find a mentoring programme’ and searching by region or programme name.
What can I expect in the recruitment process?
As with any role, becoming a mentor will require you to complete a recruitment process. Expect to be asked to:
- complete a written application form
- take part in an interview
- provide a minimum of two referees
- Permit a police check to to be carried out
- provide proof of identity and place of residence
Do you receive training?
Any organisation for which you volunteer should provide you with an orientation session and some form of training before you start mentoring. In some programmes this training is provided in-house while other programs utilise the NZ Youth Mentoring Networks trainin programmes. The training helps you become more confident in the role and understand the programme that they’re joining.
How long do you need to commit to a programme?
Most programmes require a minimum of 12 months commitment to the programme and includes meeting with your mentee once a week for 1-2 hours.
How does mentoring help?
There has been a great deal of international research carried out on the benefits of mentoring to a young person. Research by Tierney and Grossman1 and Dubois et al2 has shown that young mentees are less likely to become involved in criminal activity, drug and alcohol abuse or to leave school early. Instead they are more likely to have improved academic performance and have better relationships with their teachers and family compared to their peers who are not mentored.