The 5 C's of Mentoring

Two girls sitting at a table in a library

Mentoring programs need some sort of structure to be successful. DREAM’s youth mentoring programs include decision-making, accountability, goal-setting and skill-building. We place adolescents in a setting with kids their age and one or more adult mentors and give them a variety of activities to participate in. Below we outline the five C’s of mentoring and what helps make mentoring a success!


Competence is the ability to do something successfully. Some competencies required for a successful mentor and mentee relationship are sharing relevant experiences to help solve problems, being able to be an active listener and following through each step of the way. A mentor has to be able to share lessons learned in their own life to help their mentee get through similar situations, listen before responding so they can fully understand and be there consistently so their mentee knows they can count on them.


Character is everything that encompasses who you are as a person. Mentoring can help youth build good character traits by boosting their self-esteem and helping them identify their self-worth. Great mentors help their mentee develop skills to succeed in the future. Some character traits that are good for mentors to have are knowledge, honesty and a non judgemental attitude. It’s also important that they value diverse perspectives and are eager to learn by themselves.


Confidence is enhanced by knowing your worth, strengths and weaknesses. Confidence is contagious; it rubs off on others. Mentors have to be confident in themselves to help youth feel that for themselves. Mentees should also have confidence in their mentors, knowing that they can rely on them. Confidence and trust go hand in hand.


It’s important for youth to have strong connections with their mentors. Mentors can help excite youth about staying in school and give them reasons to keep learning. The goal of why this mentee/mentor relationship exists should also be laid out clearly. Is it more homework assistance learning based or learning a new skill based? Or is it simply a friend who can be there in a number of ways?


Compassion may be the most important “C” of mentoring. You have to be empathetic to be a good mentor. Compassion helps us learn and grow. It’s a desire to help, to feel for those not as fortunate as yourself and, even more, to do something about it. Compassion can help initiate change in the lives of others. No one person has lived the same life as another, and you have to be able to see and discuss other points of view in a caring, compassionate and understanding way.

Participate in DREAM’s youth mentoring programs

In our community, there are tons of youth left unsupervised once the school day is over. DREAM provides youth mentoring programs and after-school programs so that the youth in our community have a safe and nurturing place to go, where they can interact with their peers, go on field trips and get help with homework. If you’re interested in joining our organization as a mentor or volunteer, contact us today!