OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more


The Buddy System stems from the idea of formalizing a peer-to-peer mentoring network within school systems; thereby allowing a greater network of shared knowledge and experience amongst students transitioning into the world of work.

Photo of DeletedUser
2 7

Written by DeletedUser

Young people are greatly influenced by other young people.

In giving greater thought to this challenge, I realized how influential peer relationships are in a young person's life.

Colleges and universities rely on alumni for a variety of reasons.

What if young people were required to enact a similar 'social contract' within their high school/secondary schools?

For Example:

Each graduating student (senior) is paired with a younger mentee (junior), as well as an older mentor (College Freshman or recent graduate) as he or she transitions from school to the world of work.

The senior learns from the experiences of the recent graduate and uses those insights for framing his or her professional goals. In turn, this very same senior shares his/her experience and insight with his/her junior mentee.

The pairings would not necessarily be made based on similar interests.  Rather, a more dynamic system for buddying up would be implemented in order to elicit diversity and provoke out of the box thinking/learning.

How will your concept support young people as they transition into the world of work?

By vicariously living through each others experiences in preparation for the world of work, The Buddy System of Peer-to-Peer Mentoring would build solidarity amongst young people. It would also foster a cohesive system for supporting each other through this transition as each student shares relevant skills, opportunities and information related to professional goals. Additionally, its a great way to begin building leadership skills as meeting the responsibilities of the The Buddy System, will be monitored for progress and effectiveness. (If the policies of a given education system stymie the introduction of this buddy network, it could be voluntarily piloted until it became culturally accepted by various schools)


Join the conversation:

Photo of DeletedUser


This is a great concept! I just finished conducting focus groups with high school level students throughout the US. The focus group was focused on how these students chose a university. In each of these groups, the HS students said that they tend to or would like to talk to current university students of alumni from a particular school mainly because these two groups already have the experience and "know" what it it like during and after school. It seems that HS students really want to find someone or something to relate to.

Photo of DeletedUser


Hi Bijal -- I'm curious to hear more about your travels conducting this research throughout US high schools.

Where can I read more about your findings? Would love to hear more...