Author Archive: Michael Garringer

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FORUM: What is your most effective mentor recruitment message?

FORUM: What is your most effective mentor recruitment message?

Mentoring programs are becoming increasingly sophisticated in how they recruit mentors and the messages they use to get volunteers to take the plunge and formally apply to be a mentor. Large national organizations might hire leading advertising firms to carefully craft their recruitment messages, but even the smallest local programs can come up with a […]

How can mentors serve as advocates for GLBTQ youth?

How can mentors serve as advocates for GLBTQ youth?

  By Christian Rummell I remember the deep sense of “otherness” that I felt as a kid struggling to figure out who I was. I remember the bullying, the constant fear of being judged, and the days that I attempted to hide my tears until I made it through the front doors of my old […]

When is it the right time to close a struggling match?

When is it the right time to close a struggling match?

Although there are some obvious times when a mentoring match needs to end (such as a mentee moving away or a mentor seriously violating program rules), there are many other circumstances where matches fall into kind of a grey area. The mentor and mentee may not be meeting as frequently as they should or they […]

The Value of Researcher-Practitioner Conversations

The Value of Researcher-Practitioner Conversations

 by Michael Garringer I was thrilled to see that the Chronicle had posted an announcement about the 2015 Summer Institute on Youth Mentoring this week. We are really excited at MENTOR to be partnering with Portland State University and Dr. Tom Keller in putting on this event, which will focus this year on research and […]

Linking Evidence and Practice: A Fresh Look at the Core Elements of an Increasingly Diverse Mentoring Landscape

Linking Evidence and Practice: A Fresh Look at the Core Elements of an Increasingly Diverse Mentoring Landscape

By Mike Garringer One of the things that we like to do from time to time here at the Chronicle is to tell our readers about big new projects that might impact the way they think about or conduct their work in the future. It’s not very often that something comes along that has the […]

FORUM: Does mentoring work in rural areas?

FORUM: Does mentoring work in rural areas?

by Mike Garringer In my time as a technical assistance provider in the youth mentoring field, some of the most difficult and persistent challenges I’ve seen are those faced by rural mentoring programs. While running a high-quality program is difficult in any town or urban environment, the challenges faced by rural programs are considerable: geographic […]

FORUM: When (and how) should mentoring programs disclose mentors’ personal information?

FORUM: When (and how) should mentoring programs disclose mentors’ personal information?

A colleague of mine recently shared an inquiry they had received from a local program that was thinking through an issue that had bubbled up: Should they tell mentees (or mentees’ parents) that a mentor is gay? And if so, why and when? This was a school-based program serving primarily younger elementary-age students and to […]

FORUM: How is your mentoring program collaborating in the community?

FORUM: How is your mentoring program collaborating in the community?

One of the more interesting, and potentially impactful, trends in the social sector over the last few years has been the rise of “collective impact” efforts in hundreds of communities across the United States. While mentoring programs and others who work with youth and families to build resiliency and promote lifelong success have always collaborated […]

FORUM: Should mentors and mentees be “friends” on social media?

FORUM: Should mentors and mentees be “friends” on social media?

It goes without saying that social media has dramatically changed the way people interact and share their lives with others over the past decade. We now have the ability to broadcast information about ourselves to audiences at a scale that once would have seemed unimaginable. We also have the ability to carefully curate a “public” […]

POLL: Does your program have a fully-developed theory of change?

POLL: Does your program have a fully-developed theory of change?

Recently I’ve been thinking about a “disconnect” that I often see in the mentoring field: the difference between what programs say they can achieve through mentoring and what they actually do in practice. Now, most mentoring programs can obviously give a reasonable description of the goals of their program and some explanation of what mentors […]