Mentoring Relationships Change Lives

Relationships matter. Especially mentoring relationships. In fact, they’re life-changing. Oprah has said, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” And she’s right.

With a mentor, at-risk youth are1:

Research has shown young people in The First Tee refer to their coaches as mentors.
  • 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities
  • 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities
  • 55% more likely to enroll in college
Yet 1 in 3 kids are growing up without a mentor in their lives.2 During National Mentoring Month and all year-long, The First Tee celebrates and recognizes our coaches. Research has shown that young people in The First Tee refer to their coaches as mentors. Our youth participants believe coaches care about them, help them set goals and inspire them to use the skills they’ve learned far beyond golf. The First Tee coaches build supportive relationships based on 1) empathy, 2) high positive expectations and 3) advocacy.3 When these elements are in place in a young person’s life, they experience better outcomes in academic motivation, social and emotional skills and personal responsibility. And high-risk behaviors decrease.4

How does it happen?

New research confirms after participating in The First Tee’s multi-level and multi-year coach development program, coaches are transformed over time from quality coaches to community advocates.
  • 90% believe they are better at coaching
  • 89% believe they are better at building relationships with youth
  • 86% believe they are a mentor


Offered at more than 1,200 locations, The First Tee program was developed by experts in the field of positive youth development and is delivered by trained coaches. Our mission is to help prepare kids and teens from all backgrounds for success in all areas of life. Find a location near you
1,2 “A Lasting Impact: The First Tee’s Role in Fostering Postive Youth Development,” 2015, Springfield College Center for Youth Development and Research Roehlkepartain, E. C., Pekel, K., Syvertsen, A. K., Sethi, J., Sullivan, T. K., & Scales, P. C. (2017). Relationships First: Creating Connections that Help Young People Thrive. Minneapolis, MN: Search Institute.