Defining the Vermont Mentoring Gap

The National Mentoring Gap

MENTOR, the National Mentoring Partnership defines an at-risk youth as a child who has encountered barriers for achieving economic and social mobility. These are some potential risk factors that MENTOR highlights in The Mentoring Effect report…

  • Regular absenteeism
  • Poor academic performance
  • Behavioral problems in school
  • Delinquency
  • Incarcerated parent or guardian
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Homelessness

In the United States…

  • 52.2% of youth are at-risk (experiencing one or more of the above factors)
  • 34.8% of youth won’t have a natural or structured mentoring relationship
  • 37.5% of at-risk youth won’t have a natural or structured mentoring relationship

(According to The Mentoring Effect report, released in January 2015)

The Vermont Mentoring Gap

Based on The Mentoring Effect, it is estimated that 1 in 3 young Vermonters will go through childhood without a naturally occurring or structured mentoring relationship. Of that 1 in 3, we believe that around 18,000 youth would meet MENTOR’s definition of at-risk.

Mobius currently supports over 2,300 adult-to-youth mentoring matches in Vermont. Therefore, we believe over 15,000 youth in Vermont are still in strong need of a mentor. In total, at least 32,500 young Vermonters will go through childhood without having an informal or structured mentor at the current rate.



Vermont Risk Factor Data

  • There are 93,500 total youth, ages 5 to 17, in Vermont (Kids Count Data, 2013)
  • We estimate that nearly 49,000 of these youth are “at-risk” (as defined by MENTOR)
  • 27% of 4th graders in Vermont are below the “basic” reading level
  • 24% of Vermont youth talk to their parents about school less than once a week
  • 6% of Vermont youth repeated at least one grade in school
  • 12,000 youth in Vermont are known to be living in poverty

Based on Kids Count Data


Sources: Kids Count Data Center (project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation)The Mentoring Effect (MENTOR, The National Mentoring Partnership)