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Social work with youth, Mentoring -- United States -- Case studies, African Americans--United States--Social conditions


Research shows that mentorship can significantly influence the lives of youth. As a society we are becoming more diverse and aware that cultural needs for youth of color are more complex. We have seen an increase in formal mentoring programs that offer services to Black youth. As this shift continues, it is imperative that culturally responsive services are considered. Little research exists that explores the importance of family engagement within the mentor–mentee relationship. When working with Black youth, it is important to understand cultural practices found within the Black family that could have an influence on the mentor–mentee relationship. This study uses qualitative inquiry to explore the perspectives of 12 Black adolescents, ages 14–18, participating in a youth mentoring program. Through individual interviews, the participants described their experiences and observations of their mentor’s engagement with their family/caregiver. Findings suggest that Black youth value a genuine connection between their mentor and family/caregiver, they often assign a familial role to their mentor, and they adhere to cultural practices observed within the Black family. These results have implications for culturally responsive practices for youth mentoring programs to incorporate when working with Black youth and families.


Copyright: © 2022 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).



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