If you are mentoring informally, you can—like all mentors—look to other mentors and your own networks for the help you are likely to want and may need, such as good sounding boards and some voices of experience, as well as advice tied to resolving a specific challenge (or opportunity) facing you and your mentee.

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Online training

Don’t overlook the growing number of mentor training opportunities. Many are now open to those who are mentoring informally, as well as to those who are mentoring through formal mentoring or youth development programs. Web-based interactive training is based on Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring, third edition, has benefited from rigorous testing designed to explore its usefulness, and is likely to grow even better over the next few years as new topic areas are added. You can find out more about Mentoring Central by visiting mentoringcentral@irtinc.us.

Sources of support and guidance.

Other mentors and family members, friends, and colleagues can be tremendously useful resources as you initiate and move through the experience of mentoring a young person.