Mentoring is a M.U.S.T.



Black male high school graduation rate (5 yrs) in Seattle Public Schools


Black male high school graduation rate (5 yrs) in M.U.S.T.


Black male college graduation rate in the U.S.


Black male college graduation rate in M.U.S.T.

Why Mentorship is the Solution

A study funded by the Gates Foundation, "The Role of Risk", reported that quality mentoring reduces depression, increases acceptance by peers, and improves grades. Long-term mentoring helps with school attendance, reduces substance abuse, and reduces deviant behavior in school.

Another study has shown that there is a proven 3:1 Return on Investment for Mentoring: Youth Intervention Social Return Full Report

There are also financial benefits to mentorship. Another study, "The Economic Value of Opportunity Youth", shows that there are more than 6 million high school dropouts and underemployed youth (age 16-24) in America and each one costs society more than $600,000 over the course of their lifetime. And they pass the same patterns on to their children, continuing the cycle.

Mentorship's Financial Benefits to Society

The numbers in the chart below are averaged from three different studies measuring the net lifetime benefit to society as youth climb the education ladder. Moving a youth up just one level on the education scale benefits society hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Students who drop out of high school will get jobs, but their reduced earning power means the taxes they pay over their lifetime and their overall contribution to society barely breaks even. Many dropouts will lean heavily on the justice system, welfare system, and healthcare system.

All three studies show that some college course work will improve a person’s career earning power and quality of life. The youth may not finish college, but even a little college experience is a great benefit, and the opportunities that may follow make a significant positive impact.

Estimated Cost of one high school dropout:


Obviously, M.U.S.T.’s goal is to get every Mentor to graduate college and as many youth finish college as possible. However, if youth make it to college but do not finish it is still a major win on many fronts.

The Economic Value of Opportunity Youth

M.U.S.T. Results

After 9 years of serving the most vulnerable Black male youth in Seattle, M.U.S.T. has produced outstanding results.

The estimated Social Return on Investment (ROI) is 8.5.


College Attendance


Estimated Net Lifetime Value


Black HS Graduation Rate (5yrs) MUST (Seattle 73%)