February 2023 Mentor Coordinator Reports

Discover what is happening on all 5 school campuses with Be The One.

Ferndale | Lynden High School | Lynden Middle School | Lynden Christian | Nooksack Valley

Ferndale High School

Ferndale High School 

Be the One not only connects kids to supportive, caring adults, which you can never have too many of, but it also connects our community to our schools. That is important and powerful for everyone involved.” – Michele Barmore, FHS Coordinator 

Kim Tucker, the First Fed Bank Branch Manager in Ferndale, knows the impact of Be the One first-hand. Her daughter, now graduated from FHS, still meets with her Be the One Mentor every week. Every year, Be the One organizes Adopt a Be the One Senior where community members can “adopt” a BTO high school senior by sending a care package right before graduation. Current BTO mentor and Haggen Pharmacist, Reid Smalley, organized a care package on behalf of Haggen Pharmacy for Kim’s daughter. Shortly after, Kim introduced herself to Reid while he was on shift and expressed gratitude for her daughter’s cat-themed care package. They had just gotten a new kitten at the time, so the cat toys were extra exciting! Kim and her daughter’s positive experience led to the $2,500 donation to BTO by First Fed Bank. The Ferndale community is making a difference! 

Looking Back (February) – Recruiting, Training and Matching new mentors and Students & (still) unpacking and setting up new FHS building. Coordinating and attending BTO promo events. Upcoming Activity of the Month: Friendship Bracelets 

Looking Ahead (March) – Recruiting, Training and Matching new mentors and Students. Upcoming Activity of the Month: Decorating a planter & adopting a plant 

Total: 30 Mentoring Pairs  

Program Development 

2 Part-time BTO Coordinators at FHS – Annie Anderson works Mondays and Tuesdays. Michele Barmore works Thursdays and Fridays. No on-site Mentor Coordinator Wednesdays. 

Nearly 30 mentors currently involved in one stage or another of the mentor onboarding process 

FSD Communications team is creating a video promo for BTO Ferndale. 6 Students were interviewed. Promo will be released in March. 

Be the One is featured in the Lynden Tribune and Ferndale Record. In the Ferndale Record, FHS mentor Jill Sawicki is featured. See Lynden Tribune link: Be The One program creates meaningful, lasting connections for North Whatcom County students | News | lyndentribune.com 

BTO New Mentor Orientation scheduled for Monday March 6th – 9 people RSVP’d 

First Federal Bank in Ferndale chose Be the One to be the recipient of a 2,500 dollar donation! Mentors and BTO Alum attended a promotional event on Friday, February 3rd at First Fed Bank in Ferndale. (Pic included) 

Mentor Coordinators check in with each other and collaborate on a regular basis. Mentor Coordinator meeting held February 7th in Nooksack. 

Lynden Middle School

Lynden Middle School 

Stories to Share
One mentor showed up in the middle of a student’s personal moment of crisis. Initially, I thought that it might not be a good idea to have the mentor and mentee meet because there were so many things happening in the moment. It ended up being just what the student needed to recalibrate, get a familiar hug, share a safe space with someone they had built trust with, and just be able to escape with a game and some laughter. After the meeting it was evident that the student needed their mentor that day. We were all thankful for the mentor’s calm and compassionate presence in the student’s life- especially that day. In the difficult moments mentors can be a true beacon of hope and light to a student who is struggling. After their meeting the following week the mentor even said, “I think that what she went through last week really brought a new level of trust to our relationship.”

Sometimes for one reason or another a mentor will miss a week or more. Often times it is planned so the student is able to forecast and be aware of the upcoming schedule changes, but other times several weeks are missed due to unforeseen circumstances. The unforeseen can be really difficult on a kid who is looking forward to spending time with their mentor. Sometimes the mentor is the one adult the kid can count on to show up for them. Thankfully, when the mentor can’t be present, Brian shows up. Throughout student teaching Brian has managed to stay engaged and check in with me, mentors, and students. When one mentor wasn’t able to make it several weeks in a row Brian filled the gap. During his prep he took the time to meet with the student, play some games, share a little conversation, and just bring a little light to his week.

Mentoring by the Numbers at LMS
• 37 active matches at the middle school
• 2 students new to the program were matched in the month of February
• 8 Students on our wait list, waiting for a mentor
• 20 potential students interested or referred to the program
• 498 hours of mentoring so far this school year

Program Update
This month brought more students through the doors of the Be The One office at Lynden Middle School. Counselors popped in with referrals, eager parents brought in permission slips, paras and teachers sent emails with kids to check in with that would be well served by having a mentor in their life. There is no shortage of students needing or wanting a mentor and while I wish I could match every single one there is also no denying that more mentors are needed to meet the ever-growing needs of students in Whatcom County. Two new matches were made at LMS in February! New matches always bring about nerves and excitement for everyone involved. For me, as a coordinator, the night before a new match can bring a mixture of emotions and sometimes a restless night sleep. My desire is always to find people who complement each other- sometimes the relationship is easy and sometimes it’s difficult, but my hope is that each match brought together by Be The One reaps the benefit of community. Stepping into Brian’s role I really wasn’t sure what the outlook would be in terms of me being able to make new matches, but I have to say when the timing is right everything seems to fall
into place. Both of the students matched were individuals that I got to chat with and introduce to the program at LMS, but the two mentors had already been trained, interviewed, and vetted prior by Brian, and were waiting for their student. It is a team effort at LMS as Be The One continues to flourish.

• Mentor Equipping Sessions on March 20th and 21st
• New Mentor Orientation on March 16th

Lynden High School

Lynden High School 

Stories to share:

Mentors having fun:  I recently checked in on several relatively new matches and received positive feedback from all the students about how well things were going with their mentors.  I took the time to share that feedback with the mentors, and they were equally positive about how much they are enjoying getting to know their students.  Here’s what the mentors had to say:

“I do feel the same.  We listened to K Pop on Wednesday and she showed me some of her favorite K pop singers and videos. I love learning new things from my mentees!”

“That is great to hear!  I’m enjoying my time with her.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to be a mentor.”

 “That’s wonderful.  I feel the same way. Meeting with her is one of my favorite things in the whole week!”

Celebrating with Sponsors and Donors:  On February 11th, we invited all BTO donors and sponsors to celebrate at an Open House Style gathering at the Jantzen Art Center.  During this event, I was able to speak with several former mentors, hearing from those who are still in touch and also updating others on what former students have accomplished.  Every time I interact with mentors and sponsors, I’m impressed by the compassion and caring of those in our community who really want to invest. In speaking with some donors I hadn’t met before, I learned that some actually read these reports!  It’s nice to be appreciated.  One person followed up with this lovely email.

“It was a pleasure to see you and to learn that (my mentee) seems to have found a position in line with his earlier hopes and desires.  The evening was also a nice reminder as well as affirmation of why we choose to support Be the One.  On the one hand, the mission and goals of the organization are in keeping with personal concerns for the well-being of youth. But more important in chatting with you, you personalize the mission and work of the organization.  You model the care and concern for youth that is so sorely needed.  Lisa, you provide a personal motivation for us to continue supporting Be the One so long as we are able.”

Highlights of this month:

·         51 active matches

·         February 11:  BTO Sponsor and donor Open House at Jantzen Art Center

·         Saturday School on Feb. 25th well-attended

·         February New Mentor Orientation—4 attendees

·         February Mentor Equipping:  Hiding in Plain Sight, youth mental health documentary had over 30 attendees!  Great discussions and feedback

·         Feature Article in The Lynden Tribune celebrating 10 years

·         Reached out to all mentors—past and present—to invite to March 9th concert

·         Professional Development:  Started taking a 12-week course:  Mentoring for Youth Mental Health


·         Mentor Equipping—March 20/21—“Hiding in Plain Sight” part 2

·         Concert on March 9th

·         New Mentor Orientation:  March 16

·         Saturday School:  March 25

·         March 18—Teaching YMHFA Course for LC staff

·         End of year planning: Student interviews week of May 1-5; Celebration Cruise May 18

Lynden Christian High School

Lynden Christian High School 


NINE pairs are meeting weekly at Lynden Christian Schools

ONE new match was made at the high school in March

TWO students are on the waitlist

FIVE students have been referred or are interested in having a mentor


When Mentors Write

The gifts of our mentors are limitless, but it is truly special when they use those gifts to convey the importance of being a mentor.  Sue Likkel is a second-year mentor at Lynden Christian and writer at heart- she took the time to dedicate one of her posts in February to beautifully articulating the positive impact mentors can have in the lives of those they serve.  The whole post was meaningful and heartfelt. In it she said, “If you’ve ever played a card game with a niece, nephew or grandchild, you can mentor. If you’ve ever helped a child bake a batch of cookies, or taken them out for ice cream, you can mentor. Your mentee may not grow up to be a famous writer, but they’ll forever know that you showed up for them, just as they are. Most importantly, it made a difference.” I encourage you to take a few minutes and read her entire post – it can be found here:

Year-round Valentine’s Day – by Sue Likkel – Worth Knowing (substack.com)


I said it last month (verbatim), and I am saying it again…WE NEED MENTORS! Every BTO program at every single school need male and female mentors, and LC is no exception.  We have numerous middle and high school students in Whatcom County who need that one person to come spend one hour a week with them.  It may sound daunting, but it is doable.  If you know someone who would be a good mentor please tell them about Be The One or send me a recommendation and I will reach out to them.  Too many people think “I’m not needed or someone else will take care of that need,” but the truth is anyone who is available and willing is needed. We have a New Mentor Orientation/ Information Session scheduled for March 16th at Lynden Middle School, and I would encourage each one of you reading this to encourage at least one person to attend orientation this month.


·       Mentor Equipping Sessions on March 20th and 21st

·       New Mentor Orientation on March 16th (10am-12pm)

·       I am continuing to meet with students who expressed interest in having a mentor

·       I am currently attending a class at CTK in Bellingham taught by Mike Black- I can’t wait to share the insights in March’s update

Nooksack Valley High School

Nooksack Valley High School 

WINTER WINS: “can my mentor come every day?”

-Presented to Everson’s Lions Club with the Handys on 02/07

-The middle schoolers filled out a survey where they had to indicate if they had an adult on school campus who they feel comfortable talking to if they have a bad day. One of the 8th students said, “so I have this new mentor I’m starting to meet with, can I put him down?” The school counselor was so excited to share because the student had only met with his mentor once at that point! 

-First “my friend needs a mentor” referral and first “I want a mentor” referral!

-There was a specific game that reminded a student of painful family memories, but she was grateful to “remake” positive memories with the game with her mentor. 

-Interviewed for the Lynden Tribune

-High school student received an award at an assembly “I wish my mentor was here!”

Speedy match: I had a student come asking for a mentor on a Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday morning before school even started, he turned in his parent permission form. This is the quickest I’ve had a student turn in their form!! The problem was he wanted a Spanish speaking mentor and I had none on my list. I sent out a few emails to our current mentor pool and school staff. Within two hours, I had a Spanish speaking person who was willing to come mentor. 10 mins after I spoke with this potential mentor, he had the application filled out in turned in! Almost feels too good to be true.



-Two new matches will meet the first week of March (!!!) which means 22 students are participating in our program (with at least four more on our waitlist!)

-Plan to speak with Handys at a local church 03/12

-Continuing to be seen by students, staff, parents and community members on campus and school events

-Having a baby in March 2023! I am excited to welcome a new addition to my family. Jim Schmotzer (Nooksack Valley Student Success Coordinator) and Stacey Martin (Lynden Christian BTO Mentor Coordinator) will be taking care of NV BTO program. 

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