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Academic Mentoring: 5 Ways to Integrate Education into Mentoring

     Have you ever wondered, “How can I help my mentee in the realm of education?” Have you been surprised to find out your mentee is actually failing classes after informing you they had all A’s? Do not be alarmed, you are not the first mentor to face this dilemma. Mentees have a strong desire to appease their mentors and an equally strong fear of disappointing you. So what can you do to help? Here are just a few ways you and your mentee can begin to weave academics into your mentoring relationship.

  • Take a balanced approach. Suggest dividing a meeting up by doing some homework followed up with a fun activity.
  • Give incentives for hard work and good grades. These incentives do not need to have monetary value.
  • Tie interests into academics. If your mentee is interested in music, attend a free concert and write a one page review together. Read a book together that pertains to one of the student’s passions.
  • Be an advocate for your mentee. Meeting with your mentee’s teacher is an invaluable act.
  • Set academic goals, and make sure they are attainable. It is more realistic to go from F’s to C’s than from F’s to A’s.

Working with your mentee academically may be one of the most challenging aspects of your mentoring relationship, but it is also one of the most beneficial ways you can support your mentee. So, next time you are faced with supporting your mentee academically, try being GABII.

Keith McVaney has been with Save Our Youth since 2011, serving in both case management and education realms. In May of 2014, Keith became the Education Director, facilitating all academic programs throughout the year (College Prep, College Scholars, & Summer Academy).