What's a Mentor?

Definition: Mentor -- A Wise and Trusted Friend

Throughout the ages, the term "mentor" has been used to describe an older, more experienced person, a wise and trusted friend who takes the time to form a relationship with a less experienced person. Good mentors are always "other-focused," that is, mentors should always concern themselves with the growth and the development of the mentee.

To Develop a "Relationship of Trust and Respect"

A group called Public/Private Ventures wanted to find out what makes for a good mentor, so they conducted a study which canvassed mentoring programs, and they came up with this simple statement. Now the anthem of the mentoring movement, it is: "Successful mentors strive to develop a relationship of trust and respect."

This study also identified an individual called the "prescriptive mentor," someone who believes that he or she is the prescription or the pill for the young person. Prescriptive mentors push too hard, too quickly, and do in doing so they turn their mentees off.

Want to Develop a Relationship With a Young Person?

If you think you might like to mentor a young person (or you want to find our more about youth mentoring), click on the "Finding a Program" button. This page has a contact form, a description of the different types of mentoring, and our directory of local programs (click "Finding a Program" button).

© 2010 Mentoring Coalition of San Diego County