Analysis of the 2020 presidential election shows that young people played an instrumental role in electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, ultimately choosing a different path forward for the United States. Nationwide, the participation of voters aged 18-29 increased by as much as 10%, with turnout in some individual states like Michigan tripling their youth turnout since 2016. We are given immense hope by these numbers, because they tell us something essential about youth work: that young people can and are changing the world for the better by using their voices, whether through voting or other means in their communities. Their voices matter!

As we look forward to the tough work that lies ahead for the youth development field and our nation as a whole, we are asking ourselves how we can better support and show up with the young people in our communities so that their voices and experiences are part of our shared struggle for equity, justice, and opportunity for all. As supportive adults in the lives of the young people we mentor, it’s essential that we:  

  • Empower young people to form their own beliefs, opinions, and values through the courageous conversations we have with them about racial equity, civil liberties, and the pressing issues young people see in their own communities.
  • Elevate and support young peoples' voices as they choose what issues matter most to them and learn how to share their passion and purpose with others.
  • Encourage young people to dream of a future that centers equity and justice, and help them explore how they can be a part of making that dream a reality in their own spaces.

Below, find some resources we hope will help anyone invested in youth work as they seek to empower, elevate, and encourage young people to ask tough questions, have courageous conversations, and grow into their power as citizens, leaders, and change-makers.
Resources for Post-Election Conversations:

Resources for Supporting Youth Activism & Civic Engagement:

Professional Development Opportunity
MENTOR Virginia is planning to virtually convene mentoring programs across the state on December 3 from 12 - 1:30 pm for a free professional development opportunity of the field's choice (mark your calendars now!).

Please take this 2-question poll to let us know what topic would be most useful to you in your current work:
1: Combatting White Saviorism in Mentoring

Will cover: exploring the history of white saviorism in mentoring, identifying how white saviorism can show up in mentoring relationships and programs in the present day, and strategies + resources for combatting white saviorism in your program.
2: Social-Emotional Learning in Mentoring

Will cover: what social-emotional learning (SEL) is and why it matters right now, using the REACH framework, how mentors can cultivate growth mindset with their mentees, and a look at specific tools mentors can use to support SEL in their mentoring relationship.
3: Mentoring in the Current Landscape of Trauma

Will cover: the current landscape of trauma, how mentoring can help buffer trauma, what it means to be a first responder in a young person's life, tips for virtually supporting mentees through trauma, how to avoid secondary trauma, and trauma tools for mentors.
The poll will close on 11/17, and the winning topic will be announced shortly afterward.
Upcoming Events & Webinars
Virginia Youth-Led Advocacy and Mentoring Town Hall
Thursday, November 19, 4:00 5:00 PM EST

As mentors in Virginia learn and grow alongside young people, there are ways that they can support the advocacy and policy interests or passions of their mentees and young people. Young people have a critical voice and role to play in advocating for positive change. This youth-led conversation on the state of youth advocacy in Virginia will feature Youth Advocates for Mentoring, a program that trains young leaders on advocacy, policy and organizing, in conversation with MENTOR Virginia CEO Jennifer Boyle. They will discuss youth advocacy, civic engagement, partnering with adults on advocacy and how mentors can support their important work.
Taariq Brown, Youth Advocate for Mentoring
Quincy Evans, Youth Advocate for Mentoring
Jennifer Boyle, CEO, MENTOR Virginia
Apply for the Summit Fellowship Program ($1,000 Program Grants Available!)
MENTOR is now accepting applications for the 2021 Summit Fellowship Program, a professional development and scholarship program for mentoring practitioners who are making a deep impact in the field but are unable to attend the National Mentoring Summit due to financial barriers. This year, MENTOR is providing new Fellows with free access to the National Mentoring Summit, connecting them with exclusive resources both before and after the Summit, as well as having them be mentored by a former Fellow. As an exclusive bonus this year, MENTOR will provide a $1,000 grant to each Fellow's mentoring program.
2021 National Mentoring Summit
January 27 - 29, 2021
Registration coming soon!
Webinar: Living United for Racial Equity & Social Justice
Thursday, November 19 | 1:00 – 2:15 PM EST

For more than 125 years, United Way has worked to identify key community issues and spark change through the power of partnerships. In this moment of our history, as COVID-19 and structural racism lays waste to communities across the country, what role can the United Way and mentoring programs play in the fight for racial equity and social justice to provide the support necessary for all people to thrive, in particular young people? This conversation will feature United Way leaders from across the nation exploring how mentoring programs can remain relevant and responsive during these challenging times.
Virtual Event on Supporting Young Men of Color

In celebration of The Fellowship Initiative’s 10th anniversary, JPMorgan Chase is partnering with MENTOR to highlight ways to support and elevate young men of color as they move through school and into careers.
Career Preparation & Success
with Young Men of Color
Tuesday, December 15 │ 2:30 - 4:00 PM EST
This event will look at what young men of color need to prepare for and succeed in a career and will explore ways to build and leverage webs of support. This event will be open to the public and will consist of a facilitated panel discussion followed by small group discussion.
November is Thank Your Mentor Month
In an effort to shine a light on the huge impact mentors can have on a life, we hope you’ll join us this month in elevating stories from people whose lives have been positively changed by a mentor who inspired and supported them. Especially in hard times, it is important to recognize those who have stepped up to make a difference, inspiring others to continue the cycle. By sharing your story, you will help show the benefit of mentorship, encouraging communities to pull together and help each other through these difficult times.
Learn more and participate in MENTOR's sweepstakes Thank Your Mentor campaign by following the link below. When you post your inspiring mentor story on Facebook, don't forget to tag us @vamentoring!
Private Training Catalogue

MENTOR Virginia recently published an updated catalogue of training topics that mentoring programs can request including new additions such as Virtual Engagement + Safety in E-Mentoring and Combatting White Saviorism. To book a private training, please email Natalie Foster,
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