Learn more about research related to the Connected Futures curriculum.

Mentors matter! Youth who can identify even one mentor in their lives tend to show greater resilience, better relationships with their peers, fewer risky behaviors, and more academic and career success compared to youth who do not have these types of mentoring relationships in their lives.

So why not just assign a mentor to every youth? Research is increasingly highlighting the importance of empowering youth to create their own connections with adults, rather than assigning an unknown volunteer to mentor the student. These newer “youth-initiated” approaches to adult-student relationships have the potential to make mentoring much more impactful, particularly for teens and young adults.

Connected Futures takes this youth-initiated approach, giving students the skills they need to choose and cultivate the relationships that would be most helpful to them. Programs like Connected Futures have been shown to help students connect with adults and build their networks of social support school, which in turn lead to greater academic success. These kinds of programs seem to be especially helpful for students from backgrounds that are historically underrepresented in the American college system, like first-generation college students, low-income students, and students who have recently immigrated to the U.S.