We made it past the first month! I want to thank my coordinator counterparts Lisa, Brian, Jim and Stacey who were incredibly welcoming and helpful as I navigated the start of the school year and this new role. The staff and students at FHS have also been very gracious while I learn the ropes in Annie’s absence, but I think it is safe to say we are all looking forward to Annie’s part time return on October 8th.
I started September by connecting with each of last year’s active mentors and mentees. I have communicated with all 25 of the mentors that were still paired at the end of last year, and 21 of the mentees. (Three mentees are no longer active at FHS and one student has not yet returned to school for the year.) Of all the mentees contacted, only one is choosing not to return to the program due to her rigorous academic schedule. All others were interested in returning. The best statistic for FHS is that 100% of the returning mentees I spoke with want to remain with their previous mentors and are looking forward to reconnecting (if they haven’t already). It is obvious the care that Annie took in the matching process, which I believe to be a key component to the success of the program.
The most significant example I have seen so far this year regarding the importance and value of the mentor/mentee connection, is a student who has not been participating in their classes and is exhibiting selective mutism. All communication this year has come in the form of typing on their phone and turning it toward their teacher, counselor, or myself to read. Last week the student and their mentor met for the first time this year and not only did the mentee speak to their mentor (verbally) she smiled and laughed. It was the first time I had heard her voice. Such a testament to the power of the role a mentor can play in the life of a teen.
Other Be The One Ferndale points of interest for September are:
- We had two new mentors attend the New Mentor Orientation on September 30th . Brian hosted the training for both Ferndale and Lynden. (Thank you Brian!)
- Ferndale Boosters and Be The One Ferndale held a joint fundraiser event on September 18 th that raised over $10k dollars. It was well attended, with over 100 tickets sold, and the impending rain was kind enough not to make an appearance. Success!
My hopes for October:
- Matching mentors and mentees who are not yet paired
- Student outreach
- Community outreach