Youth and Families with Promise: A Multi-Component Youth Development Program

Brian J. Higginbotham

Abstract


Integrating mentoring into existing youth programs has been suggested as a promising approach to youth development. This article discusses a theoretical rationale underlying the integration of one-on-one mentoring into established youth development programs. From an ecological perspective, the addition of mentoring into traditional programs should theoretically enhance the youth development experience. Mentoring, in addition to programs like 4-H, enriches the context in which developing youth are supported and encouraged by non-parental adults to develop competencies, to take on leadership responsibilities, and to integrate into positive peer groups (i.e., 4-H clubs). A multi-component program that involves at-risk youth in both mentoring and 4-H activities is highlighted. Results from at-risk youth and their parents indicate that Utah’s 4-H/ Mentoring: Youth and Families with Promise program strengthens the protective factors of academic achievement, social competence, and family bonds.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2007.376

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