Call to Action: Mentor


Mentor youth through work-based, service learning or civic engagement experiences that impart transferrable skills, leadership and social capital.


  • Support and participate in peer-to-peer and youth-to-adult mentoring models, particularly through youth-led organizations that promote leadership, skill-attainment and community service, as a powerful way to engage young Americans and demonstrate their contributions and talents to employers and society.


  • Create job shadowing and externship opportunities for young adults to give them valuable exposure to work options and professional networks as they map their career pathways.
  • Leverage support from nonprofits, schools and colleges to launch or expand youth-focused programs, understanding that mentoring is also good for business as it helps to develop talent, fosters employee loyalty and creates career pathways.


  • Recruit employers to launch or expand youth-focused programs and coalitions led by mentors through sharing evidence that mentoring makes smart business sense, as it develops talent and creates career pathways.
  • Help all students understand their education and career options, including: career and technical education; internships and apprenticeships; alternative programs; and information about the fastest-growing job sectors in their region.
  • Partner in building wraparound services into educational and career programs, particularly as many “opportunity youth” face significant obstacles to upward mobility. Such groups include homeless youth; youth transitioning from foster care; youth with disabilities; pregnant and parenting youth; post-adjudicated youth; and youth with transportation challenges.
  • Expand volunteer programs, community projects and service learning for young adults, as research shows civic engagement can decrease youth disconnection and increase professional and technical skills and social capital.


  • We Got This: A Call to Action for Youth Employment
  • How employers can reduce youth unemployment  
  • EY and MENTOR’s report, “Mentoring: at the crossroads of education, business and community”

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