McNair Scholars Research Journal


This research examines literature from 1995-2007 involving youth mentorships in America. Mentor/National Mentoring partnership defines youth mentorship as a "structured and trusting relationship that brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support and encouragement aimed at developing the competence and character of the mentee" (2003. Over the past decade there has been a resurgence of youth mentoring as a way to provide support and encouragement to "at-risk" youth in America. My study of the literature involved defining the word mentor and finding the best practices used by mentor programs that create positive outcomes in youth and documenting the process of the mentor relationship. During my research I discovered that there is a lack of information specifically regarding African-American mentors matched with African-American mentees and the impacts that this has on the youth involved. In light of this gap in the research I have taken the information and created a model for a mentoring program based on researched "best practices" and recommendations from scholars concerning how to structure a mentor programs. This program has been designed specifically for 25 African-American students, between the ages of 13-15 who will be paired with 25 African-American mentors who are undergraduates at Eastern Michigan University. This literature review and program design serves as the preliminary step for further research.