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Who Would Benefit

Characteristics of Mentees and their Families

The nomination of children for the Outside Chance Mentorships program should be an affirming action that validates a child's potential, rather than signifying the presence of significant needs. While the students nominated for the program will have unmet social, psychological, and/or educational needs, they will also demonstrate a strong potential for behaviors and attitudes that will maximize the benefit that can be derived through a mentoring relationship. 

Characteristics of children who might benefit most from a mentoring relationship would include some of the following: 

(characteristics that are starred should be weighted more heavily)


Kids with Capes

Areas of Strength 

  • signs of emerging moral and ethical development*

  • actively seeks adult role model*

  • wants to succeed, even though desire may be disguised*

  • resides in school district and has for a period of time (*required)

  • presence of potential for hard work ethic

  • internal locus of control

  • able to delay gratification

  • ability to see cause and effect relationships

  • shows moderate to high academic potential, but may be struggling


Areas of Need 

  • underachieving - academically, socially, or emotionally

  • lack of enrichment opportunities

  • restricted vision of potential and possibilities for life, by virtue of own life experiences or of those around him or her

  • limited view of the future

  • challenged self-esteem

  • declining academics, self-esteem, behavior, citizenship

  • feels lack of power and/or control


Family Characteristics* 

  • caregivers support education, responsible behavior, and proper conduct

  • no family conditions to prevent success of the mentoring relationship

  • the family is open to working as a team with a mentor to help the child become more successful in school

  • family is aware of their responsibilities with the program and will follow through

High School Orchestra

Other Comments 

  • not the most "at risk" - a step or two above*

  • targets African American and Latino/Latina students, but open to students from any racial or ethnic background

  • grades, test scores and other academic performance measures are studied but not directly used to decide about a child's appropriateness for the program

  • tutoring is not the main focus of the mentoring relationship, although the mentor is an advocate for the child's academic needs

More Than a Mentoring Program: Attacking Institutional Racism, pp. 175-177

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