Stories to share:

Mentors have shared that at times it is difficult for them to know if their students are enjoying, or even benefiting from, their time together. That was the case with one of our Ferndale mentors recently, who was both touched and surprised, when she was invited by her mentee to attend a Diwali celebration in the mentee’s home. The student’s parents and extended family celebrate Diwali by wearing traditional clothing, sharing a traditional meal, lighting oil lamps, and worshipping over the course of five days. Although mentors are unable to attend private events, or visit student homes, the gesture was significant to both mentor and mentee. The student shared that she wanted to invite her mentor because “She is like a second mom to me.” Even when our teens seem distracted or disinterested, keep doing what you’re doing. We may never know the full impact that is being made, but just know that you are making a difference!

A student in BTO has been chronically absent. Last week, I sent him a message and asked how he was doing. He responded that he had been going through some anxiety and is working on attendance. When students do not come to school, they do not meet with their mentor regularly. So, I have been sending this student a message every Friday to check in. I am simply asking how the week was and if it was better, the same or worse than the week prior. Once the student can return to school, they can see their mentor again. For now, the student and I will do a quick weekly check in.

BTO Engagement:

Total Matches: 19 matches

  • 11 are meeting in-person
  • 2 are using Zoom
  • 5 are projected to start back up in November

(1 match closing due to student transfer)

Goals for November

  • Start 1-5 new matches
  • Set up TextBridge for 1-5 pairs
  • 1-5 people decide to become a mentor after BTO Orientation (Nov 5th)
  • Onboard 1-5 new FHS students

Now that most of last year’s mentors and students are connected and meeting regularly, Michele and I will start to focus on expanding the program at FHS. In March of 2020, before the pandemic, BTO Ferndale had over 40 active matches. We currently have 19 active matches

(soon to be 18 because one is closing). Students are physically back at school and mentor schedules are beginning to normalize, which is an ideal environment to rebuild the program. We are also keeping a healthy outlook that unforeseen changes could impact us this school year but are expecting overall growth within the program this school year.

 

Program Development

· No new matches this month (We focused on current matches)

· 5 new FHS students interested in BTO

· BTO New Mentor Orientation on November 5th at the Meeting Place – 5 people already RSVP’d

· Offering TextBridge pilot to 2 matches in November

· Mentor Coordinator Meeting – Michele Attended

· New folder system for Mentor Onboarding & Student Onboarding

· Mentor Coordinators are checking in with each other and collaborating on a regular basis.