What is the role of a mentor at Girls Inc.?
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What is the role of a mentor at Girls Inc.?

Mentoring programs make a positive difference in the lives of young people.

That’s a fact. Quality mentoring relationships impact young people in so many ways, from positive outcomes in academics and professional pursuits to more personal milestones like growing in self-confidence and self-esteem. Mentoring programs are an integral part of the Girls Inc. experience because we know they make difference. Youth who have a mentor are 130% more likely to hold a leadership position. But the reality is one in three young people grow up without a mentor.

At Girls Inc., we are committed to providing long-lasting and trusting mentoring relationships to girls so they can successfully navigate gender, economic, and social barriers. We are proud to say that 93% of Girls Inc. girls say there is an adult at Girls Inc. they can depend on.

Girls Inc. mentors work with girls one on one and in guided group mentoring.

Girls Inc. mentors work with girls one on one and in guided group sessions.

A Leadership Impact

Our mentors build lasting, trusting relationships and create safe spaces for girls to take risks and push themselves. Girls Inc. mentors are there to support girls everyday and every step of the way. They help to provide girls with the skills and knowledge they need to counter stereotypes and obstacles and achieve their goals.

With the help of mentors, we see girls become more confident and outspoken. With the support of their role models, our next generation of fearless leaders are harnessing their skills and capabilities to influence their lives and make changes in their communities. Mentors equal encouragement, and that means girls become confident, prepared, and assert themselves as active leaders. The latest Girls Inc. research report – Stronger, Smarter, Bolder – reveals just that.

Serving the Whole Girl

Effective mentoring is a cornerstone of the Girls Inc. approach to serving the whole girl. Our mentoring programs provide girls access to people, places, and things outside their routine environment. Girls are exposed to new experiences that enable them to discover their own strengths and thrive. Girls are also given the opportunity to take the lead in goal-setting and decision-making. In our mentoring programs, we train adult staff and volunteers in youth development, group dynamics, and effective facilitation.

Mentoring programs give young people a trusted adult friend or near-peer to turn to.

Mentoring programs give young people a trusted adult friend or near-peer to turn to. Park ranger Veronica Grear and the Girls Inc. girls of Tennessee Valley smile for the camera.

One on one, mentors support, guide, and encourage girls to set, strive for, and achieve worthy goals for themselves. They listen, and provide guidance and insight to mentees.

Mentors also facilitate group sessions with girls. They have fun and do activities together. Mentors provide encouragement and feedback to girls on behavior and efforts. They commend the girls for taking healthy risks, for trying, and for learning from failures. Meanwhile group mentoring also allows girls to mentor each other in positive ways.

Whether mentor relationships develop one-on-one or are established with a group of girls, we see to it that all girls get equitable time to contribute to discussions and activities. Vocal girls and introverted youth alike come to learn what it is to have a positive role model to emulate and a mentor who offers to help the girls be whoever they want to be.

Mentoring IRL

At Girls Inc. of the Tennessee Valley, mentors are integral to the girls’ community. Veronica Grear is a National Park Ranger at Obed and Big South Fork National Park. She introduces girls to nature, encouraging them to be future stewards of their national parks. Her passion has inspired our Girls Inc. girls to love science and see it as a fun and exciting part of their lives.

Shelby Cady is a workforce readiness specialist. She works for the local school system with special needs students. Shelby admires women in politics and wants to be a positive role model for girls. As a Girls Inc. mentor she helps them develop a strong sense of self-confidence in the world.

The Girls Inc. mentoring programs give girls an adult presence that is reliable and consistent.

Kala Rajan is a positive role model to the Girls Inc. of Tennessee Valley girls. They come together for science experiments and hugs!

Kala Rajan is originally from India and a PhD graduate from the University of Arkansas. She is working on her Postdoctoral Research at the University of Tennessee. She is also fluent in four languages. Kala became a mentor to motivate young minds. She helps girls get excited about their futures. She loves bringing her passion from the lab and sharing science experiments with the girls.


The fulfilling one-on-one or small-group relationships that produce positive outcomes for girls is at the heart of all Girls Inc. programming. To continue creating an environment where those supportive, intentional interactions can take place, Girls Inc. is participating in the Be a Champion, #InvestInKids campaign, created to highlight the importance of programs that serve our youth and help the next generation thrive. Girls Inc. is one of 13 youth organizations participating in the campaign.

One of the best ways you can participate – to champion the girls in your life and community – is with a gift that supports the girls and programming of Girls Inc. If you’d like to make a difference in a girl’s life today by supporting your local Girls Inc. chapter, find it now and thank you in advance for your support!

Cheers to all the generosity you show to Girls Inc. and, as a result, to our mentoring programs. You are ensuring that Girls Inc. and allied youth-serving organizations can continue to offer support to young people. Now scroll down to enjoy seeing our Girls Inc. staff and volunteers in action as they serve as mentors to our girls every day. Watch now!


The Be a Champion, #InvestInKids, campaign is funded through generous support from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.

Participating organizations include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boy Scouts of America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Camp Fire, Coaching Corps, National 4H Council, Nature Bridge, Outward Bound, Playworks, Positive Coaching Alliance, Student Conservation Association, the YMCA, and Girls Inc.