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What is a Mentor?

Mentors do not need to be experts in Algebra or other high school subjects! Mentors need only to be interested and committed.

The key to a successful mentor-student relationship rests with the expectations and approach of the mentor. Mentors in successful matches understand that their role is one of support and not to "reform" or "save" their student. Successful mentors help a student grow and develop.

Successful mentors understand that the relationship addresses academics, but does not stop there. Your focus as a mentor is to build a relationship that helps the student feel supported and safe, develop self-confidence and self-esteem, and see new possibilities in life.

Being a mentor may sound easy, but can have its challenges. Differences in age, background or culture, coupled with typical teenage indifference, can challenge mentors with the best of intentions and instincts. Building any relationship takes time, persistence, commitment, patience and trust. A+ Angels Mentor Program and East High School provide ongoing training, support and advice to help ensure the best outcome.

The publication Building Relationships: A Guide for New Mentors, by the National Mentoring Center, Northwest Regional Education Laboratory, provides useful information for how to develop and maintain a positive relationship with your student. 

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