For a child with one or both parents incarcerated, the commitment and support of a mentor can help build confidence; improve school performance; and result in a lifetime of healthier choice. Mentors working with youth can gain perspective; self-esteem; and new relationships.

Research shows that mentoring works:

  • Increased youth self-confidence and better school performance and behavior;
  • Mentored youth are 46% less likely to get involved with drugs or alcohol;
  • 86% of mentored youth go on to higher education;
  • Mentored children develop better relationships with their families and other adults;
  • Mentored children have experienced a reduction in feelings of hopelessness;
  • Mentored children have a reduction in delinquent behavior such as skipping school and class, initiating drug and alcohol use, and getting into physical fights.


Mentors can make a difference in the lives of children and youth impacted by parental incarceration by:

  • Challenging young people to excel academically and in extracurricular activities that promote healthy social interaction, team-building, collaboration and mutual benefit.
  • Helping young people improve their relationships with others.
  • Working alongside caregivers to reinforce a stable environment grounded in values and a belief in family.
  • Exposing young people to educational and cultural events and opportunities.

Interested in Getting Involved?

A wise man once said that ‘The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.’ That essentially is what mentoring is. As a mentor, it is your job to ignite the fire of success that is in people. Instead of teaching a child that they can be great, you show them how they already are great and how they can improve their greatness. I believe that is what Amachi does. Rather than healing the broken people, they mentor and help broken people heal and rebuild themselves causing them to be stronger than they ever were.”

- D’Angelo, Amachi Pittsburgh Mentee