Partners Mentoring Association

The mission of the Partners Mentoring Association (PMA) is to develop and support Partners mentoring programs in mobilizing adult volunteers who serve as role models, advocates and friends to at-risk youth. From its inception, Partners has distinguished itself from similar mentoring programs by focusing exclusively on at-risk youth, utilizing mentoring best practices. Partners began as an intervention for juvenile offenders, and over the years Partners has expanded the application of its mentoring services. Today, Partners affiliates serve youth at risk of alcohol or drug abuse, school failure, juvenile delinquency and youth that are victims of abuse.

For over four decades, Partners has offered highly-structured mentoring services with the goal of helping at-risk youth learn the central life skills while providing them with the emotional support needed to grow to become productive adults and good citizens. Partners has made a big difference in the lives of over 40,000 youth. Highlights include:

The key component of the Partners program is "prevention." It is Partners' belief that a young person can be prevented from entering a life of crime and unhealthy choices if a positive influence can be provided early in their lives. The hallmark of the Partners program is the one-on-one mentoring of a youth (Junior Partner) with a fully screened and trained adult volunteer (Senior Partner). Partners program model is also innovative. Each affiliate provides monthly activities for youth/mentor participation. Monthly activities are also provided for youth who are waiting to be matched. Each match is also required to participate in life-skills sessions, community service projects and additional mentor workshops, on such topics as cultural diversity, healthy habits, youth development, communication skills and the culture of poverty.

Partners serves youth, ages 7 - 17, (Junior Partner) facing challenges in their personal, social, or academic lives, by matching them with an adult community volunteer (Senior Partner). The Senior Partner serves as a friend, a role model and an advocate for the youth. These matches known as Partnerships, are one-year contractual agreements between the youth, his/her Senior Partner, the parent or guardian and Partners. The Partnerships meet for an average of 3 hours each week for a minimum one year period. At the conclusion of the one-year commitment, the Partnership may choose to continue the mentoring relationship as an Alumni Partnership and receive the same support services as the Active Partnership.

Of the youth served by partners affiliates:

All Partner affiliates use the Partners Mentoring Service Effectiveness Index (PMSEI) to measure the outcomes of the year-long mentoring relationship. This scientifically-based evaluation outcome tool was developed by OMNI Research and continues demonstrate that a one-year Partners mentoring relationship results in: