Resources for Mentoring Programs

The National Mentoring Resource Center provides a collection of mentoring handbooks, curricula, manuals, and other resources that practitioners can use to implement and further develop program practices. This growing collection of resources have all been reviewed by the National Mentoring Resource Center Research Board. They all show some level of evidence*, however are broken into two tiers depending on the extent. Most items are directly available for download here or elsewhere online. Learn more about the review process for programs, practices, and resources. You can also nominate additional programs, practices, and resources for review and inclusion on this site.

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Types of resources available: 

Mentor Guides and Handouts

Title Summary
Building Relationships: A Guide for New Mentors This guide for mentors provides an overview of basic skills and concepts that may contribute to effective mentoring relationships. After summarizing what may make a mentoring relationship successful, the guide reviews ten recommended principles of mentoring, and includes questions for mentors to consider as they reflect on their mentoring relationships, and handouts for mentors.
College Positive Mentoring Toolkit This online toolkit for mentors includes ready-to-use activities, checklists, and background information that can support mentees of all ages as they think about, and plan for, postsecondary education.
Discovering the Possibilities: "C"ing Your Future This 12-module curriculum and activity guide is designed to assist mentors in working with middle school youth to explore postsecondary education and possible careers.
Eat Well Stay Active Have Fun: A Guide for Mentors This mentor guide provides information and guidance on how to incorporate healthy eating and physical activity into a mentor-mentee relationship.
Engaging, Ensuring and Elevating: Essential Strategies for Mentoring Pregnant and Parenting Teens This essay was developed as part of the CARES National Mentoring Movement work to promote the well-being of pregnant and parenting African American youth through targeted group mentoring discussions. The essay reviews several strategies for mentors to keep in mind as they engage youth in meaningful discussions about their experiences and the world around them.
Experience Corps Mentor Toolkit This handbook reviews concepts, skills and activities that mentors can use with their mentees to support academic and life success, with an emphasis on social-emotional growth.
Fact Sheets on Mentoring and Youth Development This series of three Fact Sheets provides both mentoring programs and mentors with basic information about positive youth development principles and how to build them into mentoring settings and relationships.
Growth Mindset for Mentors Toolkit The Growth Mindset for Mentors Toolkit offers 12 lessons for mentors that apply the principles of growth mindset to their work with youth.
K-12 Journey Map This tool is intended to help youth and mentors track important milestones as youth make the journey from school to post-secondary education and career planning.
Mentoring Fact Sheet: Gender-Specific Approaches in Mentoring This Mentoring Fact Sheet from the U.S. Department of Education’s Mentoring Resource Center explains how mentoring practitioners can help mentors understand gender difference and the potential impact of gender on their mentoring relationships. It reviews tips and strategies for providing ongoing training and support on gender-informed mentoring approaches that are intended to help mentors develop effective and positive relationships with their mentees.
Mentoring Fact Sheet: Overcoming Relationship Pitfalls This Mentoring Fact Sheet from the U.S. Department of Education’s Mentoring Resource Center reviews common challenges that arise throughout the life of a mentoring relationship with a young person and provides recommendations for how mentors can anticipate and manage these challenges in the best interest of the youth with whom they are working.
Mentoring Guide for Life Skills This extensive guide provides a framework for mentoring young women and girls with a focus on developing life skills. It is oriented toward mentoring for girls in developing countries in group contexts.
Peer Mentoring Handbook This resource offers advice, strategies, and other information to older youth who will be serving as peer mentors to younger children in school and community settings.
Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Violence as a Mentor This concise guide reviews effective strategies for mentors to help them to respond to a mentee’s disclosure of a sexual assault or sexual trauma.
Supporting Students on the Autism Spectrum: Student Mentor Guidelines This is a guide for student mentors engaged in peer mentoring relationships with students on the autism spectrum. It reviews relevant information about autism, guidance about the role of a peer mentor, and tips for effectively supporting students on the autism spectrum to achieve academic and social goals.
Supporting Young People in the Wake of Violence and Trauma This guide provides mentors with recommendations and resources to help them support youth who have faced experiences with violence or trauma.
The Wisdom of Age: A Handbook for Mentors A comprehensive mentor handbook designed to offer practical information and tools for mentors over the age of 50, to help them develop and strengthen successful mentoring relationships with today’s young people.
Tip Sheet for Mentors: Supporting Children Who Have an Incarcerated Parent This “tip sheet” provides information about the experiences of children who have an incarcerated parent, to help mentors provide support and understanding through their mentoring relationship.
Tools for Mentoring Adolescents This series of 10 fact sheets for mentors reviews many critical topics related to mentoring youth across the adolescent years.
“What’s Next?” Postsecondary Education E-Learning Modules These two modules provide information and activity ideas for mentors and mentees around exploring career interests and identifying postsecondary educational opportunities and are intended to help older youth on a path toward a meaningful career.
Young Men's Initiative (YMI) Activities Catalog This activity guide offers a number of games and fun activities that are designed to get male mentors and mentees interacting and learning together, both individually and in groups.

Mentor Training Resources

Title Summary
Amachi Military Training This resource provides training that can be delivered in-person or remotely to mentors who will be working with youth from military families. The core training provides over 15 hours of ready-to-use curricula on a variety of youth development and mentoring topics.
Ongoing Training for Mentors: Twelve Interactive Sessions for U.S. Department of Education Mentoring Programs This training guide offers 12 activities that each address a key topic that can come up as mentoring relationships progress. These trainings are intended to support mentors as they encounter challenges and difficult circumstances while working with their mentees.
Ready to Go: Mentor Training Toolkit This resource offers a variety of training activities for both pre-match and ongoing training of adult and peer mentors. Activities are grouped by subject in modules: Building Mentoring Relationships; Setting Boundaries; Communication; Youth Development and Cultural Competency.
Talking it Through: Communication Skills for Mentors This interactive online training is designed to support mentors who have been matched for a while and are encountering various challenges as their mentees open up and the relationship grows.
Training New Mentors: Effective Strategies for Providing Quality Youth Mentoring in Schools and Communities This resource outlines recommended practices for mentoring practitioners to support them in providing effective new mentor trainings. It reviews key steps to take in planning and implementing mentor trainings, as well as sample curricula, activities, handouts and an evaluation form.

Program Management Resources

Title Summary
Best Practices for Mentoring Youth with Disabilities This guidebook is designed to help youth mentoring programs support and include youth with disabilities.
BGCA Best Practices: Mentoring Native Youth This resource contains tips and recommendations for mentoring practitioners for enhancing cultural competence in their work with Native youth. It includes information about cultural norms and cross-cultural communication as well as tips for training and retaining mentors, with specific information about training non-Native mentors.
College and Career Success Mentoring Toolkit This toolkit provides guidance on the development of mentoring programs that promote college and career success for youth. It reviews key elements of program design, recruiting and supporting mentors and mentees, and provides examples of relevant programming and data tools.
Foster Youth Mentorship Training for Program Managers This training toolkit provides information for Program Managers about the experiences of youth in the foster care system and tools to help them design mentoring programs that are responsive to their specific needs and experiences.
Going the Distance: A Guide to Building Lasting Relationships in Mentoring Programs This guidebook provides advice as well as tools that are intended to help ensure long-lasting relationships in site- and community-based mentoring programs.
Growing Up in a New Country: A Positive Youth Development Toolkit for Working With Refugees and Immigrants This toolkit compiles a directory of articles, resources, and program materials to assist service providers in developing quality programming for the newcomer youth in their communities.
Guide to Mentoring Boys and Young Men of Color This guide serves as a supplement to the fourth edition of The Elements of Effective Practice for MentoringTM, and includes additional recommended practices focusing on boys and young men of color (BYMOC).
Imua Imua is an online tool for monitoring student or mentee progress in a number of areas related to academic achievement, college preparation and readiness, and extracurricular activities.
Making the Transition to Middle School Fact Sheet This fact sheet, created by the U.S. Department of Education’s Mentoring Resource Center, offers recommendations to mentoring practitioners and mentors themselves for engaging mentees in school-based mentoring programs and suggests strategies for maintaining mentoring relationships during mentees’ transition from elementary to middle school.
Mentoring Immigrant and Refugee Youth This comprehensive toolkit is designed to offer program staff important background information about immigrant and refugee youth and program practices and strategies to build and sustain high-quality mentoring relationships for this population of youth.
National Native American Mentoring Program Guide This manual, published by Boys & Girls Clubs of America in collaboration with the US Department of Justice and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, provides information about the importance of mentoring for Native communities and recommendations for implementing such programming in culturally competent ways.
New Zealand Youth Mentoring Network Guide to Effective and Safe Practice in Youth Mentoring This comprehensive guide, created by the New Zealand Youth Mentoring Network for New Zealand’s mentoring programs, provides benchmarks for programs of all sizes to help them deliver quality services and establish safe mentoring relationships for youth.
Preparing Mentees for Success: A Program Manager's Guide This guide provides modules and activities to help program managers orient mentees to a mentoring program, with an emphasis on youth safety protocols and supporting the personal growth of young people through strategies like goal-setting.
Research in Action: Fostering Close and Effective Relationships in Youth Mentoring Programs This issue of MENTOR’s Research in Action series consists of a peer-reviewed article summarizing the latest research available on fostering close and effective mentoring relationships, tools for mentoring program coordinators to apply this research to their work with mentors, and a list of additional resources on the topic.
Search Institute’s REACH Resources Overview The REACH Resources Overview offers information and recommendations for schools interested in promoting social-emotional learning among students. It reviews the REACH model and the resources that schools can access through the SEARCH Institute to support students in improving academic motivation and educational outcomes.
Smart Kids Make Smart Moves Manual This manual, published by Boys & Girls Clubs of America, provides activity curricula for developing healthy living skills in children ages 6-9 with regard to avoiding risky behaviors and situations and is specifically adapted for youth in Native communities.
Starting a Mentoring Club in your High School for Students with Disabilities This brief how-to guide, created by Autism Speaks, walks high school students through the process of starting a peer-mentoring club for students with disabilities in their schools.
The ABCs of School-Based Mentoring This guidebook offers strategies for developing a school-based mentoring program, exploring many aspects of program design and implementation.
Tip Sheet for Providers: Supporting Children Who Have an Incarcerated Parent This “tip sheet” was written by youth who have or have had incarcerated parents for service providers who work with youth who have this experience or may interact with them. The purpose is to provide practical advice for how to support youth facing the incarceration of a parent.
Wellness Mentoring Circles for Young Parents: A Guide for Facilitators and Mentors This resource from Concerned Black Men National offers a series of group discussion starters and activities for mentors to use with groups of African-American young parents in a high school setting, as well as schoolwide assemblies that disseminate many of the same key lessons and concepts across the student body.
Wellness Mentoring Circles for Young People: A Guide for Facilitators and Mentors This resource from Concerned Black Men National offers a series of group discussion starters, tools, and activities for mentors to use with groups of African-American students to help them learn about important aspects of their development, reflect on their experiences with the world around them, and receive support that can promote healthy behaviors, problem-solving, and general well-being.

Program Policies and Procedures

Title Summary
Generic Mentoring Program Policy and Procedure Manual This resource provides a template for a mentoring program to create its own customized manual to guide both policies and day-to-day services.

Recruitment and Marketing Tools

Title Summary
Effective Mentor Recruitment: Getting Organized, Getting Results This resource provides planning tools and worksheets for identifying potential sources of appropriate mentors and for planning a variety of recruitment strategies.
Men in Mentoring Toolkit This resource provides recruitment messages, outreach templates, and sample talking points for recruiting male volunteers to serve as mentors. In addition to the samples provided, the toolkit offers podcasts of practitioners explaining how to craft messages that will reach men and their tips for encouraging specific groups to approach men about the mentoring opportunities in their communities.
PR Toolkit This resource provides templates for many types of communications with stakeholders and tips for working with the media.

Resources for Mentees and Families

Title Summary
Finding Mentors, Finding Success This guidebook for mentees teaches youth how to seek out appropriate mentors who can help them with their next steps in life once leaving a mentoring program or other system of support.
Mentee Training Toolkit: A Guide for Staff This comprehensive mentee training toolkit, created by YouthBuild USA, is intended to prepare mentoring program staff to deliver pre-match mentee trainings and includes a facilitator’s guide, PowerPoint slides, handouts, and other resources.
Preparing for Your Mentoring Relationship Video This brief video features youth explaining what it’s like to be in a mentoring relationship and tips for how youth entering mentoring programs can get the most out of the experience.
Ready for Mentoring: A Guide for YouthBuild Students This guide can be used to prepare youth for their mentoring relationships and get them thinking about how a mentor can help them reach goals.
Supporting YouthBuild Students in Mentoring Relationships This customizable Word document was originally designed for YouthBuild programs with the intention of providing information to parents, caregivers, and other supportive adults about the student’s new relationship with a volunteer mentor.
Training New Mentees: A Manual for Preparing Youth in Mentoring Programs This manual provides mentoring programs with a framework and sample materials to help them prepare, develop, and train mentees prior to matching them with mentors.

*Note: The evidence basis for references to effectiveness made in the titles or content of the Resources listed on this website have not been reviewed or approved by the NMRC Research Board unless otherwise indicated.

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