Advice and Resources to Support
Positive Attitudes Toward School

Your mentee may not always demonstrate a positive attitude towards school, and this can make it extremely difficult to help him or her with school-realted issues, like homework or attendance. Students with a poor attitude towards school may avoid talking about school with you, may often be late or truant, and might have many disagreements with teachers and administrators. Mentees could feel that the system is against them, and they might seem apathetic about their low grades and attendance.

Several factors may influence students’ attitudes.  Those whose parents received more education tend to have more positive attitudes towards school, while those whose parents dropped out early tend to be more negative. Girls usually view school more favorably than boys do. Ethnicity, poverty and gang affiliation often affect mentees’ performance and attitude toward school.
Mentors can help by offering support and encouragement. Drawing the mentee out with leading questions about school-related issues can help the mentee feel heard and taken seriously, which can help defuse negative feelings about school. Encouraging participation in extracurricular activities can be useful in engaging mentees. It can be beneficial for mentors to encourage plans for higher education, which often seems out of reach for mentees.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections.
(Learn more about the link between education, jobs, and salary)
(See the highest paying jobs by educaiton level)

Other Articles of Interest

Johnston, J. Howard, PhD, "Shaping Beliefs and Attitudes," University of South Florida.

Hale, Leslie F., EdD. and Canter, Andrea, PhD., “School Dropout Prevention: Information and Strategies for Educators.”


1. Marks, Gary, "Attitudes to school life: their influences and their effects on achievement and leaving school" (1998).

2. Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 1972–2009, National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences.

3. "Dropouts", Education Week, June 16, 2011.


Entries in scholarships (2)


College: It's Never Too Early to Plan

It's never too early to talk about higher education and presenting it as an attainable opportunity for your mentee. This article provides resources for college planning at early ages, with information on special contests and scholarships.

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Is College Within My Reach?

This article talks about how mentors can help their mentees get to college. It includes information on financial aid, grants, scholarships, and work study programs, including those for undocumented students. It provides practical advice for motivating and helping mentees plan for college.

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