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While research has been conducted concerning the effects of school-based mentoring on atrisk
students, limited work has focused on the volunteer mentors. This study examined the
motivations of adult volunteers and the benefits of their participation in a six-month,
school-based mentoring program. A total of 31 volunteers completed adapted versions of the
Volunteer Functions Inventory and a post-survey as part of a program in which they
mentored at-risk elementary school students. Volunteers were more satisfied with their
mentoring experience when their perceived benefits matched their initial motivations,
though this did not seem to impact their intentions to mentor again in the future.
Volunteers’ motivations tended toward expressing important values or gaining greater
understanding, though some younger volunteers were also motivated to gain career-related
experience. Implications for school-based mentoring programs are addressed.
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