Assessing an Educational Mentorship Program in an Urban Context
47 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2016
Date Written: July 18, 2016
Mentorships are important relationships that pair youth with more experienced members of the community. Mentorships facilitated by organizations often connect two community members who are unlikely to meet by happenstance, thus increasing social capital and aiding community development.
Yet, difficulties in measuring how formal mentorships improve a city’s social capital and participant welfare might dissuade communities from investing in such programs. We describe a mixed-methods approach for measuring the impact of mentorship programs using a case study in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We survey participants and analyze differences between mentor and protégé neighborhoods using U.S. Census data in a Geographic Information System.
We find that participants report increases in social capital indicators including connections between individuals with socio-economic differences. However, Census data indicate that mentors and protégés have relatively few socio-economic differences in their neighborhoods. This divergence emphasizes the importance of measuring social capital in an urban and spatial context.
Keywords: Youth, school-based mentorships, Santa Fe, New Mexico, social capital, geography
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation