Module 4: What is a Mentor and Roles of the Mentor and Mentee

Characteristics of a Mentor

- Module 4 -

Watch the YouTube video below, which describe the characteristics of a successful mentor of the Youth ChalleNGe Program, and then complete the Mentor Training quiz for module 4.


  • List characteristics of successful mentors
  • Review testimony from others that define characteristics of quality mentors

Key Points:

  1. Let’s take a look at the following characteristics of successful mentors:
  2. High level of attunement in their personal relationships
  3. Belief that they are capable of filling the mentor role (self-efficacy)
  4. Realistic expectations about the relationship, the experience, and the impact they can have on youth
  5. The ability to problem solve and seek out support from the Program, to overcome difficulties and avoid ending the Match
  6. Having a youth-centered focus — the ability to relate to youth at their level
  7. An awareness of their own personal biases and cultural competency
  8. The ability to reflect their own motivations, actions, and contributions to the relationship

The research has demonstrated that youth in high-quality relationships improve academic performance, reduce the likelihood of dropping out, decrease incidence of high-risk behaviors—substance abuse, carrying a weapon, unsafe sex and violence, and supports young people in their development – academic, emotional and social.

“Mentoring is not the solution to the problems of the next generation. Parenting comes first. But even good parents often need some help.”

“Mentoring Works” by Jonathan Alter

The Job of Mentoring

Residential Phase

During the residential phase, mentors may send encouraging emails to cadets. These emails are printed every weekday and placed in the platoons’ boxes. No pictures or attachments may be sent. Please plan on emailing your cadet every week or more. Mentors may also send regular mail, cards, or postcards.

Post Residential

During the post-residential phase, mentors and mentees are encouraged to meet face to face at least one time per month. They can speak to, Facebook with, email with or use any other social media to communicate for a total of 4 contacts per month or a total of 4 hours of time per month or a combination of face to face and other. Part of the formal mentoring time should be spent discussing post residential goals and placement activities that will be recorded on the Monthly Report.

By a pre-determined date based on the graduation date, the mentor and mentee will submit a Monthly Report to YCA concerning placement goals and activities.