The Need for more Male Mentors
Some reasons why more men are needed in youth mentoring programs would include:
- There is a shortage of male teachers in our schools, so students are looking for male role models.
- Many young people are coming from homes where there is an absence of a positive father or male role model for any number of reasons. Male mentors will help to bridge this gap.
- Male mentors are needed to share their work experiences, knowledge and skills if we want to build a competent and skilled work force.
- Male mentors can help boys to bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world of work.
- Boys want to ‘chill out’ with male mentors and talk about ‘boys stuff’ with someone who is a consistent presence in their life, non-judgmental and who will simply be a mate in a safe and secure school environment. All mentoring takes place at the school during school hours.
- The needs of young people are huge. Social behavior issues require more male role models to share their wealth of life experiences.
- Schools in the regions in which I worked in Australia had more boys than girls requiring male mentor role models, as they needed the male influence at this time of their lives. All our mentees voluntarily participated in the program and had parents’ permission.
- From a needs survey recently conducted in some schools within the community I worked, it would appear that between 5% and 25% of 14 and 15-year old students were beginning to disengage from school by Term 3. More boys than girls fall into this category and more boys than girls are leaving school at the end of Year 10 (15 or 16 years of age) with little idea of the way forward. Male mentors can share thoughts about Apprenticeships, staying longer at school, or explore other options. with boys. The social and economic consequences of unskilled boys leaving school with no clear career pathway ahead of them is cause for concern. Much can be achieved in a fun, non-threatening mentoring environment.