At Mentoring USA, we know that the first step to helping children fulfill their potential is encouraging them to make healthy decisions that boost their self-esteem and help them pursue opportunities to learn and grow.

Through our Healthy Lifestyles & Self-Esteem initiatives, Mentoring USA offers a range of programs that support children in making healthy decisions, from making better food choices to leading more active lives. Self-esteem¹ activities reinforce the relationship between mentee and mentor, impacting a young person’s confidence² and ability to advocate for themselves.

Over the years, Mentoring USA’s Healthy Lifestyles initiatives have been supported through strong partnerships with organizations like the Cornell Cooperative Extension, the United States Tennis Association (USTA), and Dr. Mehmet Oz’s Healthcorps.

Our initiatives have included:

Healthy Children Healthy Futures

Funded through the MetLife Foundation, Mentoring USA developed and implemented the Child Health Initiative. Based on the 8 Habits of Healthy Kids, the program provided children in after-school settings with the opportunity to learn about healthy eating and physical activity. Mentors then worked with their mentees to encourage healthy behaviors amongst their peers.

Healthy Lifestyles Workshops

Mentoring USA presents workshops facilitated by health educators from the Cornell Cooperative Extension (an outreach of Cornell University) motivating positive behavior changes by teaching children about making healthy decisions. Topics have included creating awareness of the sugar content in beverages, what a balanced meal looks like, and the importance of portion sizes.

United States Tennis Association’s Quickstart Tennis

QuickStart Tennis introduces young people to tennis and promotes an active lifestyle. The program provides kids a way into tennis by utilizing equipment, court dimensions, and scoring that is tailored to their age and size. Mentoring USA is also a recipient of USTA’s ‘Aces for Kids’ grants, supporting our ability to introduce more and more youth to fitness and exercise through the sport of tennis.

¹The sense of “I can do it” often results in students trying harder and performing higher academically (Wong, Wiest, & Cusick, 2002).

²A school-based mentoring program for elementary school students found that they showed improvement in self-esteem, peer connection, and that they reported talking more frequently with their parent/guardians when they had a problem (King, Vidourek, Davis, & McClellan, 2002).

Learn About Our Other Programs

General Mentoring

Our mentors volunteer in several categories, including General Mentoring, Foster Care, LGBT Youth, and Workplace Mentoring. Read on to learn about our programs:

Through our Career Days and Workplace Mentoring program, young people receive guidance and mentoring through structured activities, job shadowing, skills-based mentoring, and educational initiatives. Learn more.
Our Financial Education Initiative helps young people learn more about financial basics and navigate the fundamentals of personal finance, and encourages personal financial responsibility. Learn more.
This core program component focuses on improving mentees’ self-efficacy, combatting school dropout, and helping mentees make the connection between their current school experience and the outcomes they can achieve later in life. Learn more.
This program focuses on developing good exercise habits, nutrition and healthy lifestyles knowledge and awareness, and improved self-esteem. Learn more.
One of the most impactful ways mentors can influence mentees is by modeling positive behaviors that help them learn to respect themselves and others. Learn more.