Stories to share:
Saying Goodbye to Elmer
One student participates in an organization called Animals as Natural Therapy. Every week she spends time with one of the horses, Elmer. Recently, the staff workers informed her that Elmer was so old that they were going to put him down. They encouraged her to meet other horses, but the student wanted to spend as much time with Elmer as possible before the procedure. Last week, Elmer was put down and the student confided in her mentor how hard it was for her. At their next meeting, the mentor gave her a care package – a stuffed horse that looked just like Elmer! Be the One mentors listen, respond and engage in the hard times students go through.
Strength in Collaboration
A student’s mental health has become more severe this school year. The mentor asked if they could collaborate with the student’s advisor, so all three of us met to discuss how to support the student. Afterwards, we felt like a strong team working together to support the student. The advisor is now working with the school nurse to navigate Whatcom’s mental health system. Tangible steps are taking place to help the student overcome various barriers in receiving these services.
So far, three BTO matches that were not interacting via Zoom or email are now meeting in person! This is a HUGE accomplishment because March marks the 1 year anniversary for Covid school closures. These pairs talked in detail about a year’s worth of life updates. The students talked about new pets, death of a loved ones, a long-distance boyfriend, a vacation to Las Vegas, and the list goes on!!
A student withdrew from FHS in the Fall because she was not attending her online classes. When students returned to campus in February, her counselor encouraged her to come back to school. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to get in contact with the family. The mentor persistently asked me when her student would return. I would tell her the same story: “We’re still waiting.” After two months of waiting, the student is back! I called the mentor to notify her that the student wanted to see her. She could come tomorrow or wait until after Spring break. The mentor wanted to see her as soon as possible and they were reunited the next day! After their hour together, the mentee told me she “loved it” with a big smile spread across her face!
Textbridge Interaction after an in-person meeting at FHS:
Mentor: “You make my day brighter after seeing you!”
Mentee: ” Thank you. I’m super motivated to do some work after our meeting. I will try to remember to wear my BTO tee shirt for our next meeting. ”
- 11 students using Zoom or TextBridge regularly
- 9 in-person mentoring!!
- 9 students emailing occasionally, disengaged, or waiting until next year to resume
- 1 Student decided to close match (only met mentor 4 times before quarantine started)
- No new matches at FHS in March. 2-5 students will meet a potential mentor in April.
- 2 students turned in permission slips (1 female, 1 male). They were interested in BTO last year and still want to have a mentor. I have a mentor lined up for both students.
- New Mentor Orientation via Zoom on Tues. March 9th. 1 person attended and is now officially a mentor in the waiting pool!
- Focusing on creating new matches
- Presented in three 9th-grade health classes about BTO.
- Connecting with students who were interested in a mentor last year
- Bought & delivered lunch from local restaurant “Meeting Place” for FHS Staff with funds from Thrivent Action Team.
- PE Department on 3/12
- Counseling Office on 3/26
- Main Office on 4/1
- Planning 1 more for librarian/student advisers/health teacher
- Started planning End of the Year (EOY) activities: Student Interviews & EOY Celebration
- Mentor Coordinators met in person for a meeting! Good to see everyone J
- Food Stations – 3 BTO students used this resource in March
- Helping to launch online portal – created resource page for Mentor Coordinators
- Planning maternity leave for 2021-2022 School Year.
- Mentor Coordinators are checking in with each other and collaborating on a regular basis.