By: Tess Starman
The impact of TeamMates on the life of the mentee is our number one priority. We evaluate these outcomes through a variety of methods and with regular frequency. In our first research article, we discussed a few of these key outcome indicators: hopefulness, school engagement, and post-secondary success. These outcomes on the student happen as a result of the mentoring relationship. Therefore, along with mentee outcomes, another top priority of evaluation for TeamMates is the match itself. We evaluate a match in a variety of ways, but three of the greatest indicators we measure are match length, frequency of visits, and perception of match quality.
TeamMates has long seen and championed the research that points to the positive impacts long-term mentoring relationships have on youth. Our model of developmental mentoring was derived from a long history of research which shows a correlation between match length and match quality. The national average length of a match hovers around 9 months (Research in Action, 2015; Mentoring in America, 2005; Effectiveness for Youth, 2002). The average match length of TeamMates relationships during the 2018-2019 school year was 29 months, more than three times the national average.
Frequency of Visits:
Research conducted by Gallup on TeamMates concluded that 24 visits in one school year is the key number to achieve the greatest positive benefits for a youth in the program (Gallup, 2003; Gallup, 2005). Since then, “24 or more” has become a goal we set for every mentoring relationship. This past year, program-wide, our mentors averaged 22.3 mentoring visits with their mentees. The frequency of visits, coupled with a long average match length shows us that mentors are truly living up to their roles as ‘promise-keepers’, choosing to show up week after week and year after year for their mentee.
Perception of Match Quality:
One of the most significant ways we measure match quality is through asking the mentors and mentees themselves about it. In our annual surveys, we ask both parties in the mentoring relationship how strong they feel the relationship is, by asking them about relational quality, trust, sense of care, and more. In our 2018-2019 annual survey, 76% of mentors rated a high quality of relationship, and 97% of mentees reported a high level of trust with their mentors. Year after year, we see both mentors and mentees report a high quality of match. Alongside match length, match quality remains another significant indicator in ensuring high impact on the life of a young person.
when you feel like your mentoring relationship is getting more strained or
difficult, show up. When you doubt your impact as a mentor, show up. When you
feel like not showing up, show up. Your consistent presence over time in the
life of your mentee gives values and worth to them, changing their life for the