Latino(a) students and Caucasian mentors in a rural after-school program: Towards empowering adult–youth relationships



High rates of immigration, especially from Latin America, have created a large population of immigrant youth, many of whom are having difficulty in American schools. The central goals of our project were to assist in empowering students to find academic success and to foster a more bicultural identity. According to three perspectives (youth, mentor, and coordinator), the adult–youth relationship central to our project has been successful in fostering academic engagement and cross-cultural relations. Youth improved their grades and reported being more connected to school. Mentors and youth reported trust in their relationship and satisfaction in learning about each other's culture. We also discuss shortcomings in our program and offer suggestions for positive adult–youth practices. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Comm Psychol 33: 31–40, 2005.