Juma and MENTOR: Empowering Youth through Positive Relationships

Research has shown that a single positive relationship with a trusted adult can have a tremendous impact on a young person’s life trajectory. A positive relationship with a mentor can help a young person thrive in the transition from youth into adulthood and a career. Through a new partnership between Juma and MENTOR, a non-profit organization dedicated to fueling the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships for America’s young people, Juma youth will have more opportunities than ever to leverage those relationships. The partnership will also offer Juma the opportunity to build a toolkit to pass on to partner organizations and employers looking to enhance their mentoring relationships.

“Mentorship is really part of the fiber of what Juma does,” explains Mason Moore, Chief Impact Officer. “From our enterprise staff who mentor youth on the job to programs staff who work with our young people on their career goals and skills like financial capability, mentorship is at the heart of what we do. So having MENTOR to help us learn best practices that we can use to strengthen mentoring relationships between Juma youth and staff and then share with our partners is a really intuitive step forward for Juma.”

MENTOR has a proven history of creating resources for a variety of partners such as My Brothers Keeper Alliance, an initiative of the Obama Foundation of which Juma was a lead grantee. They are also experts in leveraging mentoring relationships in unique environments such as e-mentoring, which takes place online, peer mentoring, and workplace mentoring.

Through a grant from The Schultz Family Foundation, together in the coming two years, Juma and MENTOR will pilot a series of trainings for Juma youth and adult staff in Seattle, Sacramento, and San Jose. The trainings will be focused around MENTOR’s three-pronged approach to mentoring (Connect, Focus, Grow ) to help create a mentoring mindset and improve the effectiveness of the mentor/mentee relationship.

After completing the trainings, youth and staff will participate in focus groups to discuss their learnings and ways to enhance the curriculum. Ultimately, using the learnings from this pilot program, Juma and MENTOR will create a toolkit to act as a resource for future Juma staff and partner organizations looking to enhance their own mentoring capacity.

“Developing this resource will ultimately give both Juma staff and our partners the tools they need to be the best mentors they can be for this new generation of young people,” explains Moore. “We hope that by creating those relationships here at Juma and then providing this learning resource in the form of a toolkit for our partners that more Juma youth will be able to continue their upward trajectory with positive relationships to help them along the way.”