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Mentoring in Milwaukee: Developing a Regional Mentoring Network

Dozens of organizations provide mentoring opportunities for youth in Milwaukee. Those organizations have collectively determined that a formal mentoring network is needed to coordinate regional mentoring efforts and help build the capacity needed to connect all youth who could benefit from mentoring with a suitable mentor. The Forum was commissioned by the Milwaukee Public Schools and City of Milwaukee to facilitate a strategic planning effort aimed at establishing such a network. This report describes the new strategic direction determined by the stakeholders group and highlights insights gleaned from our national research.

Key services and activities of a Milwaukee mentoring network:

  • Leading region-wide campaigns to encourage mentorship through advertisements, coordinated efforts on social media, special events that celebrate mentoring, agency training on recruitment, and use of a web-based online volunteer inquiry form;
  • Supporting staff development for mentoring organizations through specialized trainings and an annual conference;
  • Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of mentoring programs based on national best practices to identify challenges and opportunities and to monitor growth;
  • Providing technical assistance to mentoring organizations based on the results of their program evaluations; and
  • Collecting and synthesizing community-wide mentoring data to identify gaps in service and to track progress made over time.