Why Boys Need Mentors

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The Art of Teaching: A Conference for Teaching Men


November 9-11 • The Heights School, Potomac, MD

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Boys need mentors. We know this intuitively from our observations of young and older boys alike. But why? Join Mr. Joe Cardenas (Head of Mentoring) and Alex Berthe (7th Grade Core Teacher) for a conversation on why boys–and their parents–need mentoring.

Joe Cardenas

About the guest:

Joe Cardenas


Joe Cardenas is the Head of the Mentoring program at The Heights. Mr. Cardenas also teaches The Freshman Core and AP Art History. Since coming to The Heights in 1994, he has organized cultural trips to Spain and Italy and service projects in Mexico and Peru. Mr. Cardenas completed his undergraduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a degree in American history; he received his M.A. in Private School Management from Columbia University. He taught at The Head-Royce School, an independent school in California, and at inner-city programs in Chicago and the Bronx before joining The Heights faculty.

Alex Berthé

About the guest:

Alex Berthé


Alex Berthe, LCSW-C is a Bethesda-based psychotherapist working with teens, young adults, and parents. He completed his B.A. from Columbia University in 2003. While there he was a four-year member of the Lion's division I men's varsity soccer team. Alex describes his early to late-20's as being a bit of a blur. No, not for nefarious reasons. But because he was on the grind: pursuing a professional soccer career, mentoring kids on probation, waiting tables in NYC while pursuing an acting career, selling Cutco knives and high-tech software, and... he thinks that's it. It was during this time of searching that Alex fell in love with his faith and his now wife, and that he got some of the important answers he was looking for in life. At the tender age of 28, he returned to school to earn his MSW from the Catholic University of America in order to become a psychotherapist. While in school, he worked at the Youth Leadership Foundation's Tenley Achievement Program. There, he directed all-boys supplemental education and character building programs for youth from underserved communities. After five years at the YLF, Alex felt called to serve within the all-boys independent school world. He joined the faculty at The Landon School as a counselor before moving on to join the faculty at The Heights as a middle school teacher. During this time, he also moonlighted as a therapist with various Bethesda-based private practice groups. He started his own private practice in 2016, Berthe Counseling Group LLC, and has been there ever since. Alex offers individual and group psychotherapy to treat people with mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. He has a special interest in working with teens and young adults with ADHD. Alex also offers an eight-week parenting group that focuses on child development, parenting, family culture, and sparking more joy in family life.