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Investigation of the Integration of Supports for Youth Thriving into a Community-Based Mentoring Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2017
49 pages
This project examined the feasibility and impact of integrating youth-centered match support practices into the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) community-based mentoring program.
The conceptual framework for the youth-centered match support practices and related activities and resource materials is Step-It-Up-2-Thrive, a resource developed by the Thrive Foundation for Youth. In this framework, a supportive adult, such as a mentor, guides a youth through a series of activities designed to develop personal attributes that research has found to be important in the development of positive behaviors and attitudes. The first goal is to assist a youth in identifying a personal "spark," defined as a talent or interest that excites the youth and motivates her/him to spend time and effort in pursuing the "spark," In the next step, the mentor encourages the youth's development of a "growth mindset." The third step consists of a mentor-mentee cooperative assessment of the youth's strengths and areas where growth is needed. This assessment is guided by the six "Cs" of positive youth development: Competence, Character, Caring, Confidence, and Contribution. The final step involves learning and practicing the skills needed in achieving personal goals. This report describes the implementation and outcomes for efforts to integrate the "Thrive" steps into the BBBSA mentoring program. The overall conclusion of this evaluation is that the "Thrive" program, which is based on developmental science, produces a "positive developmental cascade" when integrated into a mentoring program in which youth have strong relational support from caring, competent adult mentors. 5 tables, 1 figure, and 40 references

Date Published: September 1, 2017