Throughout this research paper, the researchers will examine the mentor to youth relationships as it related to the African-American male demographics in South Carolina. Mentoring is a solution to many issues plaguing society today. Considering that minority male youths are vulnerable populations, the research targets the African-American male residing in South Carolina as the population to focus on in this study. The researchers will seek to identify the perceptions of African-American males to mentorship programs. It is worth noting that gender influences the people's perceptions to mentorship. Females are more receptive to mentoring programs than males. Also, research has proven that female mentors are more effective in career development and emotional guidance as opposed to their counterparts.
Importantly, the targeted population should be in middle school; hence should be between the ages of 11-13. Schools have implemented mentoring programs in middle schools to provide students with opportunities for developing skills and dispositions. The programs aim at allowing students to develop into responsible adults. Notably, age influences the people's perceptions to counseling programs significantly. Younger people appreciate counseling and mentorship sessions more to older adults. More so, streamlining one's behavior is easier during childhood than adulthood hence showing the importance of mentoring programs among middle school learners.
Youth-centered mentoring entails the process of matching mentors with young persons. The role of the mentors, in such cases, is assisting the young people in developing an emotional bond with the mentee. The primary goal of youth mentorship is improving the wellbeing of young persons by providing a role model who acts as a child's guardian in their academics, social, and personal lives. In addition to that, youth-centered mentorship is critical in allowing for the identification of socially at-risk students and benefit from the mentoring programs. In consequence, it could result in increased support for at-risk students hence allowing them to stay in school and achieve academic success.
Mentoring engagement entails the measurement of the emotional involvement of a mentee during the mentoring process. Some of the factors to consider in determining mentoring relationships are happiness, sadness, uniqueness, and attention. Youths who are comfortable being around their mentors could show definite improvement and vice versa. Thus, this paper will also focus on the extent of mentoring engagement based on the perceptions of African-American males towards the mentoring programs.
Mentoring dissatisfaction entails the measurement of the level of satisfaction in a mentee. When the programs create satisfying relationships between a mentor and a mentee, positive behavior will result, and vice versa. Satisfaction results in situations here young people can effectively express themselves around their mentors. In effect, the mentors are likely to understand the main issues facing the learners. In most cases, this helps to ensure that mentors address pressing issues and assist young people to develop positive behavior. Therefore, this paper will identify the extent of mentoring dissatisfaction among African-American males in middle schools.
Keywords: Student Voice, Student Choice, Engagement, Dissatisfaction
Hussung (2015) defined mentoring in the business world as the provided advice aimed at offering business perspectives, improving skills, and facilitating confidence. In addition to that, Galbraith and James (2004) stipulated that mentoring is an intellectual and psychological relationship where a mentor accepts the responsibility of being knowledgeable and trustworthy. A mentor is usually a non-parent person who assists students to grow towards becoming successful persons in the class.
Youth-centered mentoring programs are critical since they shape the life of a young person in adulthood. As young people, mentees can express themselves better, thus leading to better outcomes. The feelings of the youth of being an equal partner in the relationship between a mentor and a mentee are essential, as it allows a teen to express themselves. DuBois and Karcher (2014) stipulated that positive relationships should be maintained regardless of whether the mentoring programs are goal-oriented or are aimed for general purposes.
The engagement of the young mentees in the mentoring programs yields positive results. Positive participation of the students fosters motivation (Skinner, Furrer, Marchand, & Kindermann, 2008). The attitude of the mentees during mentorship programs tend to improve with time. One would argue that positive relationships would be satisfying to both a young person and the mentor. More so, Lakind, Atkins, and Eddy (2015) indicated that youths with positive mentors developed the right attitude towards the programs; hence they were more engaged as opposed to teens with negative mentors.
Enhancing the satisfaction of the mentee is critical in any mentorship program. Dissatisfaction entails a lack of a healthy relationship between mentees and mentors. As Lakind et al. (2015) asserted, this often yields poor mentorship results with no significant change in a mentees behavior. A mentor should be satisfied as well to enhance positive outcomes. According to Skinner et al. (2008), mentors should have access to training opportunities since it boosts their confidence and allows them to be well equipped for mentorship programs.
Gender influences the success of mentorship programs significantly. In most cases, males are more dissatisfied with mentoring programs when compared to females. Males are rarely engaged in the plans as opposed to females. Most of the youth-centered programs for mentoring focus on the male child, since they are prone to negative social influence. Consequently, Fowler, Gudmundsson, and O'Gorman (2007) indicated that female mentors provided personal and emotional guidance to the mentees to a greater extent when compared to male mentors. However, the study revealed that no significant differences existed in the functions of male and female mentors (Fowler et al., 2007).
The primary reason for selecting the male children at middle school for analysis of their perceptions of mentorship programs is that mentoring is essential to people in their young ages. Successful mentorship programs for middle school learners allow them to grow towards becoming responsible adults. As Lakind et al. (2015) argued, it is easier to shape and streamline the behavior of a person during their childhood ages other than in their adult stages. Besides, younger people tend to be receptive to mentoring programs as opposed to older adults. Thus, shaping their behavior at an early stage is easier than doing so in adulthood.
DuBois, D. L., & Karcher, M. J. (2014). Youth mentoring in contemporary perspective. Handbook of Youth Mentoring, 3-14. doi: 10.4135/9781412996907.n1
Fowler, J. L., Gudmundsson, A. J., & O'Gorman, J. G. (2007). The relationship between menteementor gender combination and the provision of distinct mentoring functions. Women in Management Review, 22(8), 666-681. doi: 10.1108/09649420710836335
Galbraith, M. W., & James, W. B. (2004). Mentoring by the community college professor: one role among many. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 28(8), 689-701. doi: 10.1080/10668920390277073
Hussung, T. (2015). The Benefits of Mentoring in Business. https://online.csp.edu/blog/business/the-benefits-of-mentoring-in-business
Lakind, D., Atkins, M., & Eddy, J. M. (2015). Youth mentoring relationships in context: Mentor perceptions of youth, environment, and the mentor role. Children and Youth Services Review, 53, 52-60. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2015.03.007
Skinner, E., Furrer, C., Marchand, G., & Kindermann, T. (2008). Engagement and disaffection in the classroom: Part of a larger motivational dynamic? Journal of Educational Psychology, 100(4), 765-781. doi: 10.1037/a0012840
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