To be a teenager is to struggle through seven years of pressure while building a structure to manage overwhelming responsibilities. Mentorship programs are the perfect extracurricular activities to offer the necessary support for teen development. Young adults already face a great deal of uncertainty in their day-to-day life, yet as they move into hush school and prepare for college, the world only throws more their way. Now more than ever, teens are expected to balance school work, jobs, college preparation, extracurriculars, and a social life. There just isn’t enough hours in the day without a supportive community. Structured mentorship programs function as a reliable source for teens to organize, prioritize and act on opportunities that will help them succeed.

Benefits of Dedicated Mentors

The mentor-mentee relationship is unique to other relationships in teens’ lives. Parents and older siblings are also vital to a teenager’s development, but structured programs offer an unbiased perspective while establishing a personal bond. The informal setting in which mentors and mentees connect provides an unmatchable balance for mentors to offer teens personalized advice. 

An empathetic and supportive mentor is instrumental in helping teenagers develop emotionally and behaviorally. Mentors put on different hats at different times – they can be an advocate, friend, supporter, and/or policy enforcer. They provide resources that teenagers can access for future use. Frequently, the mentor-mentee relationship stands the test of time.

Types of Mentorship Programs

Meeting with the mentor is the easy part. The challenge is finding the perfect match. Luckily, there is no shortage of programs with dedicated, experienced individuals, to act as non-familial-biased mentors. There is also a range of mentorship program designs— individual, small groups, educational, pre-professional and more. In small group mentoring programs, teens have an added opportunity to draw on the experiences of other participants and connect with like-minded individuals. Another advantage is that these programs come with structure – meaning, meetings occur on a regular schedule throughout the program duration. However, you can never go wrong when paired with a mentor one-on-one. Regardless of making the difficult decision on which program to choose, there is a right fit for everyone. Once the teen knows they’re in the right place, they can begin their personal growth journey.

Learning opportunities within structured programs

Mentoring programs are some of the best after school activities for teenagers in middle school and high school targeting different areas or skills. Regardless of the category, all mentoring programs provide teenagers with the guidance, resources, and tools they need to pursue their ambitions. Students looking for arts opportunities outside of school offerings can discover fine arts mentorship programs. Structured programs can offer the organizational help needed to manage commitments, while offering an outlet for the teen to develop a fine arts skill set. It is never too early to learn to juggle many activities at once. Skilled mentors understand teens challenges will change as they age, but the tools they provide mentees will stick with them forever. 

Whether it is a mentoring program or other after school activities for teenagers, there are clear benefits to teenage participants. Youth involved in these programs report improvements in academics, social relationships, and behavioral outcomes compared to non-participating students. Structured after school activities are some of the best ways to keep teens away from risky or delinquent behavior. Parents, too, can have peace of mind knowing that their teenager is safe and spending time in meaningful ways.

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Looking for the right match

High school students or parents of high school students should be on the lookout for meaningful mentoring programs whose goals coincide to their strengths, weaknesses and passions. There are several considerations to think about, such as the location, timings, type, individual or small group, etc. It can be overwhelming to find a program that meets your exact requirements. However, those searching should not be disheartened; there are several online tools that could help them in their search. One simple solution is to download the free mobile app Spotivity which connects teenagers and parents looking for meaningful after-school activities in touch with program providers. From there on, it’s a simple journey to find the desired program that checks all the right boxes!

About Spotivity

Be #neverbored again by using the spotivity app and find activities that fit your needs.  We help you find programing that can lead to your passion.  Whether that is an art program to practice graffiti, a sports program to engage in competition, an education support class to improve your grades, or just finding someone to talk to – spotivity has your back.  Backed by research and continually informed by users, spotivity is the tool to help you unlock your world and expand the list of options you can take advantage of.  

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