Austin ISD's Mentoring Network
Mentoring is a sustained relationship between a young person and a caring individual who is screened and trained to provide the young person with support, guidance, and assistance.
Mentoring programs include school, community, and site-based programs, as well as, programs where mentors are community volunteers, peers, or paid staff. Regardless of program model, mentoring programs are responsible for ensuring mentors, of any age, are safe and healthy to interact directly with youth.
Number of AISD Students in Mentoring Programs
The following table shows the significant increase of AISD students benefiting from mentoring programs. AISD Mentoring, in partnership with Recognized Mentoring Providers, strives to serve 5,000 students annually through quality mentoring services.
Mentoring provides children with the caring, consistent presence of an adult friend, which research has shown to be a major protective factor in building resilience among at-risk youth. Mentoring also has benefits for the mentor, including opportunities for personal growth, a deeper connection to your community, and a deep, caring relationship with a young person.
Young people who had mentors report setting higher educational goals and are more likely to attend college than those without mentors. High expectations and higher educational attainment are key factors in life success.
One in three young people overall report they never had an adult mentor of any kind (naturally occurring or structured) while they were growing up. Nationwide, that means today approximately 16 million youth, including nine million at-risk youth, will reach age 19 without ever having a mentor.
Mentoring promotes positive social attitudes and relationships. Mentored youth tend to trust their parents more and communicate better with them. A study showed that the strongest benefit from mentoring, and most consistent across risk groups, was a reduction in depressive symptoms—particularly noteworthy given that almost one in four youth reported worrisome levels of these symptoms (The Role of Risk, 2013).
The above research comes from 'The Mentoring Effect: Young People's Perspectives on the Outcomes and Availability of Mentoring, a report for MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership' January 2014 by Civic Enterprises in association with Hart Research Associates Mary Bruce and John Bridgeland.
History of AISD Mentoring
The AISD Mentoring Network was established by the District Mentoring Coordinator in August 2017, however, the discussion on the importance of quality mentoring began following the Connecting the Dots Initiative held in December 2011.
- 2011–Connecting the Dots Initiative led to a recommendation for a Mentoring Task Force.
- 2012–The Mentoring Task Force was established to assess youth mentoring and how best to scale local efforts.
- 2013–The Mentoring Task Force recommended to the Joint Subcommittee (City of Austin, Travis County, and Austin ISD) a more permanent body to continue the project through the planning phase. The Joint Subcommittee signed a resolution creating the Austin/ Travis County Mentoring Advisory Council, also known as “MAC”.
- 2014–The Mentoring Advisory Council (“MAC”) was established. 2016 Austin ISD hires staff to serve as Project Coordinator of Mentoring Advisory Council – District Mentoring Coordinator.
- 2017 -The Mentoring Advisory Council disbands. AISD Mentoring Network established.