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How Women Mentors Make a Difference in Engineering

The Atlantic – Ed Yong

“For some women, enrolling in an engineering course is like running a psychological gauntlet. If they dodge overt problems like sexual harassment, sexist jokes, or poor treatment from professors, they often still have to evade subtler obstacles like the implicit tendency to see engineering as a male discipline. It’s no wonder women in the U.S. hold just 13 to 22 percent of the doctorates in engineering, compared to an already-low 33 percent in the sciences as a whole. Nilanjana Dasgupta, from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, thinks that mentors—people who can give advice, share experiences, or make social connections—can dismantle the gauntlet, and help young women to find their place in an often hostile field.”(more)

To develop teachers, look to other teachers

Education Dive – Autumn A. Arnett

“Researchers from Michigan State University this week presented the findings of a study that indicated half of early career teachers leave their schools by their fifth year, and one in four leave the profession altogether. Part of this can be attributed to a perceived lack of support by their principals, but another part is due to a lack of support and personal development that encourages persistence.”(more)

If you want to change children’s lives, mentor them

The Atlanta Journal Constitution – Maureen Downey

“Not only are mentoring relationships long-lasting, they reach kids from low-income families, single-parent households, and at-risk academic circumstances. These mentoring programs span the whole state. And best of all, the programs are boosting support for children in multiple ways: as mentoring relationships deepen, so does valuable input on a more comprehensive approach to preparing children for full, empowered, adult lives. These programs are doing terrific work, but they need more help. More mentors of color are needed, especially as 65 percent of the young population served are Latino or African-American, and it helps to identify with the lived experiences of one’s mentor.”(more)

National Mentoring Month: A Reminder of How Important Mentors Are

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“January is National Mentoring Month, a month that is used to recognize the importance of connecting youth with strong mentors to guarantee their prolonged success. In honor of the occasion, here are some examples of research that proves how important having a mentor is on a youth’s life.”(more)

‘It builds confidence and independence’: the many benefits of making pupils into mentors

The Guardian – Ryan Wilson

“There’s nothing we can do to overcome our status as teachers. But peer mentoring offers a way to sidestep it. There are no teachers wagging fingers; just friendly faces offering the benefit of their experience. But what does peer mentoring look like in practice? And does it work? The Mentoring and Befriending Foundation (pdf) defines it as a one-to-one relationship, where the mentor volunteers their support to another student. Normally, it’s during a time of transition in the mentee’s life. Birmingham’s Hamstead Hall Academy runs two strands of the scheme: one for more able students, and another for those experiencing personal or family issues. Attendance is voluntary and pupils are encouraged to share experiences and work on specific subject areas.”(more)

Soledad O’Brien On How Mentors Can Change A Young Person’s Life

The Huffington Post – Tanisha Love Ramirez

“Soledad O’Brien had many great mentors throughout her life and career ― now, she wants to pay it forward. The award-winning journalist spoke with The Huffington Post recently about her role as the host of the fifth annual American Graduate Day on Saturday, and her personal investment in the initiative’s mission to spotlight the power of mentorship. “Any single person who has been successful, if you ask them what made you successful, at some point they get to the person who helped them ― the mentor,” she told The Huffington Post. “The same is true of me.” The 49-year-old said she understands first-hand the positive effects a mentor can have on a young person’s life and career.”(more)