Overview of YouthBuild Mentoring


This section reviews the basic information about YouthBuild's mentoring services.

Key Resources and Forms for this Section

What is the YouthBuild Mentoring Model?

The YouthBuild USA National Mentoring Alliance defines mentoring as “support and guidance, provided through a one-to-one relationship with a caring adult, to assist a young person in achieving his or her own developmental goals.”

These one-to-one mentoring relationships can improve and enhance the outcomes of YouthBuild students—building on the personal growth and success they find in YouthBuild and helping them transition into the period after their formal YouthBuild participation. YouthBuild mentoring can help boost academic achievement, assist with career exploration, enhance leadership development, and strengthen connections between YouthBuild students and their own families and communities.

Ideally, a YouthBuild mentoring relationship will last for years. However, the YouthBuild National Mentoring Alliance model requires a minimum commitment of 15 months, with a student typically receiving nine months of mentoring while formally enrolled in the YouthBuild program and six additional months of mentoring after graduation.

Matches between mentors and mentees are made as early in the program cycle as possible to maximize the amount of mentoring provided to each youth. The post-graduation phase is designed to maintain the positive gains and personal growth from students’ participation in the mentoring program and to ensure that each young person has caring support as he or she moves forward in life.

YouthBuild Mentoring at a Glance

  • Programs receive funding from OJJDP to create 15-month mentoring relationships that span both the YouthBuild program year and post-graduation.
  • Matches are primarily one-to-one, but they begin with three months of group mentoring time and are supplemented by ongoing service and group activities once the match is made.
  • Mentees must be under the age of 18 at the time of the match.
  • Matches have a minimum of four hours of in-person contact per month (ideally weekly) for the duration of the match. Additional phone, e-mail, or text-message contact each month is also encouraged.
  • Match activities take place in the community and are centered on the students’ YouthBuild Life Plans.
  • Mentors must be appropriately screened, trained, and supervised.
  • Formal evaluation efforts will examine program outcomes and impact.

Please see the YouthBuild USA National Mentoring Alliance Fact Sheet (PDF) for a full breakdown of project progress to date, local program responsibilities, and a listing of the current NMA grantees.