• Nine matches for the school year
• Masks were dropped and faces were seen
• Seven mentors were trained
• Two orientations/ information sessions were held
• Over 125 hours of mentoring took place at LCMS and LCHS combined
• Two new students have expressed interest in having a mentor next year
• Three adults have expressed interest in becoming mentors
We started the year with four matches and added five more! Two students graduated at the
end of this school year and both pairs plan to stay in touch. The mentors of the graduating
seniors have also expressed that they would like to be matched again in the upcoming
school year. Of the seven remaining matches all would like to continue meeting barring
that we can find times to meet. One student is transferring out of LCHS full time, but the
pair has asked that I still facilitate their meetings utilizing our off-campus contract.
All nine students partook in the end of year interviews with Nancy or Denny McHarness,
which was incredibly insightful as expected. Eight mentors and three students also took
the surveys offered. I gleaned so much insight by being able to listen to and read the
thoughts that each person had about their mentoring experience.
QUOTES + THOUGHTS:
Students consistently expressed the importance of having an additional caring adult in their
life and each noted that they are so thankful to have someone who simply listens to them.
The most common themes I found when reviewing interviews and reading through the
surveys: mentors are good listeners, mentors are non-judgmental, mentors are joy givers
and confidence builders.
Each student chooses to seek out the opportunity to have a mentor for a personal reason,
but it is important to note that some of these students feel that their mentor is the only
consistent adult in their life, their closest friend, the only person they trust, or one of the
few people they feel genuinely cares about them. Mentors make students feel seen and feel
I have a full four pages of quotes from students and while I would love to share more I
wanted to take this space to share just a few snippets (I narrowed it down as much as I
could) of what students at Lynden Christian have said.
What the students at LC said about having a mentor…
I don’t have any other adults I can count on in my life. She is really important to me.
The biggest benefit from having a mentor is that she is now my friend. We were matched
by someone else based on our personalities and different things. I pick my friends, and she
feels like someone who was gifted to me not picked by me.
The biggest benefit for me in having a mentor is that I gained a friend. I like having an
adult as a friend because a lot of the adults in my life don’t have time for me or aren’t
interested in my life. I haven’t really ever been around adults who actually spend time with
me and talk about life.
It’s nice to have a friend who is wise and I can go to for advice. I’ve gone through two
relationships and breakups with her and she gives me her honest opinion and wants the best
for me. She is an amazing listener. I talk a lot. She listens and then can help me process
what I am feeling.
I look forward to seeing her every week. I don’t ever feel judged. Even if I feel like a bad
person for what I am saying she is so kind and makes me feel normal.
She’s consistently been a comfort to me in the last couple years. I am so thankful for her.
She made me feel less alone. There have been moments in my life that were really scary,
and she was just there.
Time with my mentor is important to me because it is helping me be able to talk to people
better which was hard before.
She is outgoing and extroverted and nice, so I am trying to be more like her. I watch how
she interacts with people and I want to copy that. I want to be like her.
We meet, we catch up, and we talk. It feels like I am spending time with a friend. It doesn’t
feel like I am talking to an adult that is trying to “help” me- I am just talking to my friend.
Overtime our friendship has grown. It’s nice to have this one on one time.
She knows everything about me and that feels safe.
I think it would be hard to meet with anyone else- she is my person.
When talking to kids my own age it feels like we are all going through similar things or
kind of competing in one way or another. When I tell her about the things that are going
well in my life she celebrates me. She’s not comparing her life with mine because she’s
an adult and I’m a kid, so she just encourages what I am feeling. It was about me and I feel
It is hard for me to take my own advice, so she has me talk through things so I can hear it
out loud and then it clicks and I am able to think clearer and make decisions. Just having
her listen and encourage me to talk through my problems knowing she wont judge me helps
because I wouldn’t talk through it on my own.
She is an adult that I respect, but she is also my friend. I have lots of adults that I do feel close with, but almost all of them have a relationship with my parents. But with her and I-it is just us. She is my friend first and not my parent’s. Every other adult in my life has a relationship with my parents, but she doesn’t. I don’t feel like she will tell me parents what I say, so she feels safe. I feel like I have been in a better mood since I got my mentor. Having fun with an adult helps me to get along better with other people because I feel happier.
My mentor helped me heal and is one of the first people that I could share my real story
She helped me realized that I can be myself and some people will like me and some wont
and that’s okay- I can find my people.
She lets me vent and not bottle things up. Being able to casually conversate about that
allows me to alleviate the pressure I feel inside.
She is one of the only true friends I would say I have consistently in my life. It is hard to become a part of things here at Lynden Christian when you aren’t from here, and she encourages me to keep trying.
What the mentors said…
What did you enjoy about your mentoring experience this year?
Meeting a young man who is eager to live his life for God.
I enjoyed getting to know a young person in a meaningful setting. We enjoyed talking
about serious things as well as goofing off dancing and playing games.
Connecting to and supporting my mentee
I enjoyed the opportunity to meet a new student who I had no previous connection with,
and just enjoy listening to her!
I enjoyed getting to know my mentee on a deeper level, having now spent 2 years
What was the most difficult aspect of mentoring?
It is hard to not be able to “fix” their problems, but rather just walk alongside them. However, the blessing in that is the power of prayer – it is out of my hands as a mentor,
and has to be turned over completely to God!
Knowing when to talk about more serious things. Waiting patiently for the relationship to
develop in order to be “real” with each other.
Consistent schedule. Holidays, sickness, and things come up at work. It’s just nice when
we meet regularly.
Not being able to meet for an in school period each week.
Additional mentor comments:
Primarily, the meeting time constraints is an issue for me. I would consider continuing if
we could find another time. I am so thankful and supportive of this fabulous program. I
hope it continues to grow! I’ll do my best to advocate for it with those I think that would
be well-suited for mentoring.
Grateful to experience this.
Scheduling is easy and tricky at the same time. We know we only have one shot per
week, so if that time doesn’t work for one or either of us then we just have to wait until it
does work. Some times we go weeks without seeing each other if we aren’t free on
Tuesday at 2pm.
Love [my mentee] and developing a close relationship! It’s been a joy to see her mature
over the years!
SCHOOL YEAR MATCH CLOSURE:
Our year concluded with the wonderful option for pairs to attend a boat cruise around
Bellingham Bay fill with food, games, and fun- four pairs were able to attend together and
it was a beautiful night of celebration (and weather). One mentor said that time together on
the boat was a positive turning point for their relationship. The boat cruise coincided with
the same night as Lynden Christian’s “Family Fun Night” where some students had already
committed to volunteering.
Those that didn’t attend the cruise were given Edaleen or Muddy Waters gift cards to enjoy
a special treat together. Each student concluded the year by giving their mentor a
handwritten note and each person was gifted a photo of the two of them in a frame.
It was a wonderful year filled with change and growth. As I look towards next year I pray
that the relationships that have been formed will be able to strengthen and new ones will
be able to begin.