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Research from the field

In 2006, Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) launched Mass Mentoring Counts, a biennial survey of the youth mentoring field, to reveal the landscape, trends, and needs of youth mentoring while measuring progress and promoting greater strategic investment of human and financial capital. The most recent iteration of the survey, Mass Mentoring Counts 2012 provides a current snapshot of the state of mentoring in Massachusetts and offers a comparative analysis of changes in the field over the last six years.Mass Mentoring Counts 2012 regional discussion

From 2006 to 2012, youth mentoring in Massachusetts has experienced an almost 80 percent increase in youth served, based on programs who completed the inaugural 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012 Mass Mentoring Counts surveys.

Other key statewide findings from Mass Mentoring include:
  • 248 programs reported serving more than 30,000 youth in formal mentoring relationships, a 32 percent increase since 2010, and a 79 percent increase since the 2006 survey
  • Approximately 3/5 of programs are site-based
  • Approximately 87 percent of mentoring programs identified their intended impact of the program is to provide education and academic support, 48 percent is to promote work readiness, and 33 percent is violence prevention
  • The vast majority of programs - 84 percent - expect matches to last at least one school year
  • 47 percent of programs set match commitment at 12 months. 71 percent require weekly meetings
  • Male youth spend longer on program waiting lists: less than 1/3 of male youth on program waiting lists are matched within three months, compared with more than 1/2 of female youth

Purpose of Mass Mentoring Counts

Mass Mentoring Counts is a powerful tool enabling MMP to effectively fulfill the following strategic objectives: 

  • Offer comparative data to identify gaps, trends, and establish benchmarks for the field to best meet the mentoring needs of youth;
  • Use timely, relevant data to raise public awareness and strengthen the case for additional investment with media, legislators, funders and policy-makers;
  • Develop a body of knowledge to shape MMP’s resources and to guide strategic decision making for MMP and individual youth mentoring programs;
  • Create a more comprehensive statewide program network for collaboration, strategic alliances, new initiatives, and knowledge sharing; and
  • Demonstrate the need for more people to volunteer

MMP includes in the reported data all programs that self-identify as structured youth mentoring programs. This provides a sample that is the most representative of the broad range of programmatic approaches that value the impact a mentoring relationship can have on the development of a young person. However, it is important to note that some of the programs included in this data may employ program practices that vary with the research-driven best practices.

Regional reports:

Previous Mass Mentoring Counts

National research

Research on youth mentoring is abundant and points to the impact that it has on strengthening academic performance and self-esteem, preventing risky behaviors and other benchmarks.

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