Take for example, a reformed gangster, who managed to leave such kind of life, and pursue a normal and honest lifestyle (Mullen and Lang, 2005, p. 33). One of the characteristics of a mentor is an individual whom people admire, and want to identify themselves with (Epstein, Maw, Elwood and Hey, 2009). Mullen and Lang (2005) explain that a mentor should be a person who has good virtues and morals. Through this requirement, Mullen and Lang (2005) believe that not everybody can become a mentor. They have to pass the morality test.
This process of mentorship has existed since time immemorial i.e. during the time of the Ancient Greeks (Ball, 2006). For example, a well-known Greek philosopher, Plato, was a mentor to Aristotle, who also emerged as an important Greek philosopher (Gosnell, 2007, p. 27). By looking at the relationship between Aristotle and Plato, it is possible to understand that a mentee would always seek to learn from the mentor and their relationship is informal (Cheng, Payne and Witherspoon, 1995). This is because Aristotle never taught Plato within a formal classroom. From a historical perspective therefore, mentorship is a process that was used to train scholars and leaders (Gosnell, 2007, p. 33). For example, Aristotle played a role in mentoring Alexander the Great, a famous Persian emperor who conquered almost half of the entire world.
The focus of the mentoring process is to impart wisdom and knowledge to an individual and based on this, there is a need for techniques and measures that can be used in the mentorship process (Cox, 2011, p. 14). This paper provides a critical evaluation on the advantages and disadvantages of being a youth mentor in a formal setting. In meeting the objectives of this paper, the concept of youth mentorship and the associated theories will be discussed. The researcher will use case studies to meet the objectives of this research. The case studies used are, the catalyst mentorship program, and the IBM