Other Youth Topics


  1. Youth Topics
  2. Mentoring
  3. Examples of Mentoring Activities

Examples of Mentoring Activities

Mentoring Activities that Support Youth in Meeting Developmental Objectives

Mentors can help ALL youth:

Mentors can help youth WITH DISABILITIES:

Examples of Mentoring activities:

GUIDEPOST: School-Based Preparatory Experiences
DEVELOPMENTAL AREA: Learning is based on positive basic and applied academic attitudes, skills, and behaviors.

* Develop improved basic math, reading, and creative expression skills
* Improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills
* Improve self-assessment of academic skills and areas of need for further education and training

* Learning how to use their individual transition plans to drive their personal instruction, including obtaining extra supports such as tutoring, as necessary.
* Accessing specific and individual learning accommodations while they are in school.
* Developing knowledge of reasonable accommodations that they can request and control in educational settings, including assessment accommodations.
* Identifying highly qualified transitional support staff, who may or may not be school staff.

* Tutoring
* Coaching
* Recreation
* Helping develop a personal development plan
* Helping youth apply academic skills to community needs
* Helping youth identify and access learning and assessment accommodations
* Helping youth to identify highly qualified support staff in school and community settings
* Monitoring the youth's grades and helping youth perform his or her own informal assessment of skills
* Developing a showcase of work that highlights the youth's learning experience(s) (e.g., an essay, a painting, a portfolio, or an algebra exam)
* Locating relevant preparation courses for GED, ACT, SAT, etc., and supporting the youth's participation in them
* Helping the youth learn about college and scholarship opportunities

GUIDEPOST: Career Preparation and Work-Based Learning Experiences
DEVELOPMENTAL AREA: Working focuses on the positive attitudes, skills, and behaviors necessary to meet expectations in jobs, careers, and vocational development.

* Develop an understanding of the world of work
* Identify work readiness skills
* Identify strategies for completing educational requirements or training
* Identify individual strengths and potential opportunities for meaningful work

* Understanding the relationships between appropriate financial and benefits planning and career choices.
* Accessing supports and accommodations for work and community living, and learning to request, find and secure appropriate supports and reasonable accommodations at work, at home, and in the community.
* Learning to communicate their support and accommodation needs to prospective employers and service providers.
* Accessing multiple opportunities to engage in work-based exploration activities such as site visits, job shadowing, internships, and community service.

* Participating in career exploration activities, including career interest assessments, job shadowing, job and career fairs, and workplace visits and tours
* Planning and setting career-related goals
* Finding varied internships and work experience, including summer employment, to learn and practice work skills (soft skills)
* Assisting with exposure to entrepreneurship training
* Networking with other young people with similar interests
* Practicing mock interviews
* Attending work readiness workshops
* Arranging visits from representatives of specific industries to speak to youth participants about the employment opportunities and details of working within their industry
* Providing assistance with job searches, including preparing resumes and writing cover letters
* Conducting visits to education or training programs
* Providing job coaching
* Participating in learning activities using computers and other current workplace technology

GUIDEPOST: Youth Development and Leadership
DEVELOPMENTAL AREA: Leading is the area of development that centers on positive skills, attitudes, and behaviors around civic involvement and personal goal setting. Thriving centers on attitudes, skills, and behaviors that are demonstrated by maintaining optimal physical and emotional well-being.

* Demonstrate an ability to articulate personal values
* Demonstrate a sense of responsibility to self and others
* Demonstrate an ability to assess situations and avoid unduly risky conditions and activities
* Demonstrate knowledge and practice of good nutrition, physical exercise, and hygiene
* Demonstrate daily living skills
* Promote youth leadership development experiences
* Promote community volunteerism
* Promote youth activities that encourage group participation as well as collaboration with other individuals and groups

* Participating in mediation and conflict resolution training.
* Participating in team dynamics and project management training.
* Learning about or improving self-advocacy and conflict resolution skills to fortify leadership skills and self-esteem.
* Learning anti-peer pressure strategies.
* Learning how to access reliable information sources.
* Identifying mentors and role models, including persons with and without disabilities.
* Developing an understanding of disability history, disability culture, and disability public policy issues as well as of their rights and responsibilities.
* Participating in voter registration and voting in local, state, and federal elections.
* Participating in town hall meetings.
* Engaging in community volunteerism, such as organizing a park clean-up or building a playground.
* Participating in a debate on a local social issue.
* Training to become a peer mediator.
* Participating in a letter-writing campaign.
* Arranging to meet with local and state officials and legislators.
* Participating in a youth advisory committee of the city, school board, training center, or other relevant organization.
* Participating in learning activities or courses about leadership principles and styles.
* Engaging in activities to serve in leadership roles such as club officer, board member, team captain, or coach.

* Tutoring
* Coaching
* Engaging in problem solving, conflict resolution, and self-advocacy training
* Providing opportunities to practice skills in communication, negotiation, and personal presentation
* Participating in sports and recreational activities
* Providing training in life skills, such as how to manage money, find transportation, shop on a budget, buy a car, and obtain insurance
* Assisting youth in the creation of a community resources map related to physical and mental health, personal physicians, insurance companies, parks, grocery stores, drug stores, etc.
* Engaging in meal planning and preparation activities

GUIDEPOST: Connecting Activities
DEVELOPMENTAL AREA: Connecting refers to the development of positive social behaviors, skills, and attitudes.

* Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills in relating to adults and peers (e.g., conflict resolution and active listening)
* Demonstrate a knowledge of key community resources

* Locating the appropriate assistive technologies.
* Identifying community orientation and mobility training (e.g., accessible transportation, bus routes, housing, and health clinics).
* Gaining exposure to post-program supports such as independent living centers and other consumer-driven community-based support service agencies.
* Identifying personal assistance services, including attendants, readers, interpreters, and other services.
* Obtaining benefits-planning counseling, including information regarding the myriad of benefits available and their interrelationships so that they may maximize those benefits in transitioning from public assistance to self-sufficiency.
* Locating mentoring activities that connect youth to adult mentors.
* Providing tutoring activities that engage youth as tutors or in being tutored.
* Mentoring others.
* Preparing research activities identifying resources in the community to allow youth to practice conversation and investigation skills.
* Writing letters to friends, family members, and pen pals.
* Attending job and trade fairs to begin building a network of contacts in one's career field of interest.
* Participating in mock interviews and role-playing other workplace scenarios.
* Providing positive peer and group activities that build camaraderie, teamwork, and a sense of belonging.

* Tutoring
* Coaching
* Problem solving
* Recreation
* Engaging in cultural activities that promote understanding and tolerance
* Providing peer and group activities that promote service and civic engagement
* Providing training in accessing available transportation, assistive technology, mental and physical health services, and benefits planning services

Adapted from the Office of Disability Employment Policy, Career-focused Mentoring for Youth: The What, Why, and How

Youth Briefs

How Individualized Education Program (IEP) Transition Planning Makes a Difference for Youth with Disabilities

Youth who receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and especially young adults of transition age, should be involved in planning for life after high school as early as possible and no later than age 16. Transition services should stem from the individual youth’s needs and strengths, ensuring that planning takes into account his or her interests, preferences, and desires for the future.

Youth Transitioning to Adulthood: How Holding Early Leadership Positions Can Make a Difference

Research links early leadership with increased self-efficacy and suggests that leadership can help youth to develop decision making and interpersonal skills that support successes in the workforce and adulthood. In addition, young leaders tend to be more involved in their communities, and have lower dropout rates than their peers. Youth leaders also show considerable benefits for their communities, providing valuable insight into the needs and interests of young people

How Trained Service Professionals and Self-Advocacy Makes a Difference for Youth with Mental Health, Substance Abuse, or Co-occurring Issues

Statistics reflecting the number of youth suffering from mental health, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders highlight the necessity for schools, families, support staff, and communities to work together to develop targeted, coordinated, and comprehensive transition plans for young people with a history of mental health needs and/or substance abuse.

Young Adults Formerly in Foster Care: Challenges and Solutions

Nearly 30,000 youth aged out of foster care in Fiscal Year 2009, which represents nine percent of the young people involved in the foster care system that year. This transition can be challenging for youth, especially youth who have grown up in the child welfare system.

Coordinating Systems to Support Transition Age Youth with Mental Health Needs

Research has demonstrated that as many as one in five children/youth have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Read about how coordination between public service agencies can improve treatment for these youth.

Civic Engagement Strategies for Transition Age Youth

Civic engagement has the potential to empower young adults, increase their self-determination, and give them the skills and self-confidence they need to enter the workforce. Read about one youth’s experience in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).