Date of Conferral



Doctor of Social Work (DSW)


Social Work


Emmett R. Roberts Jr.


Many African American males face challenges due to historical and current negative viewpoints of this population. However, urban communities also play a vital role in the obstacles encountered, which impacts this population’s well-being. The purpose of this project was to gain knowledge from mentors on how a mentoring program positively affected the cognitions, behaviors, and academic progress of African American, male, public high school students residing in urban communities and effective ways mentorships foster resilience. This qualitative research study used a cognitive behavioral theoretical framework and a resilience theory conceptual framework, and narrative semistructured interviews were conducted. The mentors’ positive perceptions of the students’ participation in the mentoring program and positive changes in the students’ cognitions and behaviors were described. A purposive sampling method was used to identify five participants, via various social media sites, who met the criteria of being an adult over the age of 18, residing and working as a mentor outside of New Jersey, and being either a current mentor or a previous mentor, within the last 5 years of African American, male, public high school students of urban areas. The data obtained were analyzed using eclectic coding, which revealed the common themes of self-awareness, positive development, cultural competence, and supportive relationships related to the research questions and how these components are vital in effective mentorships. Overall, this project gives potential positive social change implications to social work practice pertaining to additional information on effective ways to address maladaptive behaviors and negative influences of urban communities through mentoring.