Why Boys Need Mentors

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 Berthé, LCSW-C, joined The Heights faculty in 2016. He teaches seventh grade core and Spanish, and is a mentor to both middle and upper school students. Alex graduated from Columbia University in 2003 where he majored in political science. In 2011, he completed his graduate work at the Catholic University of America and earned a Master of Social Work. In addition to teaching, Alex is a Bethesda-based psychotherapist in private practice with a special interest in counseling families on child and adolescent development and marriage issues. Prior to joining The Heights, Alex was the Lower and Middle School Counselor at the Landon School, an independent school for boys in Bethesda, Maryland. He also served as the Director of the Tenley Achievement Program, a tutoring and character building program for underserved boys in Washington, DC. An All-Met soccer player in high school, Alex was a member of Columbia University’s varsity soccer team and maintains his love of the game through coaching. Alex and his wife, Andrea, have three children.

  • Lionel Yaceczko

    Great podcast, guys.

    LeBron James might not have a lot in common with most people, but he has this:

    >>When LeBron James was asked if opening his I Promise School in Akron, Ohio was the “most important thing” he’s ever done with his platform, he replied, “It is.” Why? “Besides having three kids and marrying my wife, putting my mom in a position where she never has to worry about anything ever again for the rest of her life, this is right up there,” James said. “Championships, MVPs, I mean, points, rebounds and assists, that stuff is, whatever. But, for me to be able to open up a school and give back to my inner city, so many kids that I know because I was those kids. I walked those streets and it was just like there’s no way I’m going to be able to get out of this situation. I just thought about that every day. I had dreams and I had *mentors* and they allowed my dreams to become who I am today. People can talk about everything else besides that, but they can never take away what I’m able to do for my hometown and people all around the world. That’s what means to me more than anything. The basketball thing, I love it and I enjoy it, but to give back and be able to open up a school, that’s something that will last way beyond my years.”

    Dave McMenamin, ESPN Staff Writer<<