Mentoring gives you the opportunity to meet people who can offer you guidance, support and encouragement in any part of your life.
The Victorian Government supports mentoring in lots of different ways as part of the larger goal to improve things for all young Victorians.
How does mentoring work?
Young people all face changes and challenges. Having a mentor is a valuable way of making a connection with your community, or simply a way to learn more about yourself.
Mentoring opportunities are offered in lots of different ways by lots of different organisations, but all mentoring programs have a few things in common, like:
- helping you to understand and reach your potential
- being a voluntary - not compulsory – arrangement between yourself and your mentor
- providing a caring and supportive environment
- being safe for everyone involved – both you and your mentor.
Being in a mentorship is not the same as visiting a counsellor. It's also not the same as having a coach. Mentoring can be as simple as just hanging out, or it could be about establishing your own goals – big or small – and helping you to achieve them.
Personal journeys – read our mentoring comic
The comic 'What is This Mentoring Thing?' tells the story of one person's journey though a mentoring program. You can read it online by clicking the image on this page or the link below. You can also download a .pdf version to read offline or print out to read later.
The benefits of mentoring
Mentoring programs are a way to help you to achieve your goals and improve your connection to family, friends, school and your community. They also help you to get involved in new opportunities that can lead to long-term positive outcomes.
Benefits to being mentored can include:
- better education outcomes through improved school attendance
- increased employment opportunities
- an increase in confidence, self-esteem, self-worth and aspirations
- improved social and interpersonal skills
- better relationships with parents and other family members
- a greater feeling of connection and belonging
- a reduced chance of getting into dodgy behaviour (such as violence, risk-taking and substance abuse).
Benefits to mentors can include:
- an improved sense of achievement and satisfaction by providing opportunities that have a positive influence on a someone's life
- insight into the lives of young people
- an opportunities to build new positive relationships meet new people
- developing new skills.
How to find (or become) a mentor
If you're looking to get involved in a mentoring program, either as someone who is looking for a mentor or as a mentor yourself, most programs are happy to take self-referrals. A good place to start looking is the Australian Youth Mentorship Network's list of Victorian mentoring programs.
The following organisations may also be able to help:
If you're interested in starting up a mentoring project, check out the YACVic youth Mentoring Hub for heaps of resources and advice.
YACVic Youth Mentoring Hub
Resources and advice about managing youth mentoring programs.