Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Andrea Thompson


Effective mentoring programs are essential for African American youth to feel satisfaction and contribute to society, particularly in large urban communities. A need exists to study the impact of community-based mentoring programs in central Georgia, particularly those focused on male African Americans. Despite various mentoring programs, stakeholders know little about the elements of program impact for at-risk youths. Community mentoring programs frequently serve as a tool to minimize high dropout rates that often result from youth incarceration, expulsion, and suspension. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into the perceptions of mentors and administrative staff on the impact of programs designed to support at-risk youths' successful return to school. Attachment theory; Alderfer's existence, relatedness, and growth theory; and social-development theory served as the framework for this study. This qualitative case study examined the perceptions of mentors and administrators on the impact of the Men Accepting Neophytes and Uplifting Pupils (MAN-UP) mentoring program. Data accrued from document review, interviews, and observations of 15 mentors and 3 administrators. Data analytic procedures included the use of codes and themes. Results showed that the MAN-UP program is effective in combating some of the challenges that at-risk youth face. Positive social change may result from the creation of professional development for mentors and program administrators, which is specifically designed to improve the negative behaviors of African American male at-risk youth. This could have implications for mentors, educators, and communities seeking to reduce school suspension and expulsion rates and crimes that lead to incarceration. Proper mentor training would help to reduce recidivism.

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