Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


James Jackson III

Committee Member

Gloria Kieley


mentors, social integration, entrepreneurship, socioeconomic influences, urban population


This qualitative phenomenological study examined the impacts of mentoring programs in urban areas. Mentoring programs are key to providing increased social and economic prospects for individuals who live in urban areas. As a result, this study evaluated how mentoring programs can reduce the increasing challenges of social and economic development faced by vulnerable families in high-poverty urban areas. Youth at risk have benefited from mentorship programs in many ways, such as academic empowerment, emotional support, and career guidance. However, mentoring programs have not addressed the issue of enhancing social and economic prospects for people living in less privileged areas. Specifically, there are no empirical studies focusing on mentoring programs regarding their impacts on socioeconomic development for poor city dwellers.

The researcher employed a phenomenological technique to interview participants who described their lived experiences concerning impacts of mentoring programs in urban areas. The participants were recruited from mentoring program centers across the United States. Most of the participants participated either directly or indirectly in mentoring programs. The findings of this study established that mentoring programs can enhance educational outcomes, skill development, social networks, social bonds, and socioeconomic prospects, as well as leverage entrepreneurship for social mobility.

Data for this phenomenological study were collected through semistructured interviews. The participants provided data that produced a significant contextual understanding of experiences. The researcher looked for patterns and connections across cases and identified three key themes: (a) Mentoring programs improve social and economic development, (b) social networking enhance economic development and promote social capital, (c) social integration and entrepreneurial education foster socioeconomic status. From these dominant themes, the researcher also identified several subthemes from the interview transcription data.

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