BTO Coordinator Report – Lynden High School
December 17, 2020

Stories to share:

 They approached each other with smiles behind the masks, big air hugs from 6 feet away, and agreed to let me take their photo at their first in person meeting since last March.  The student went to great lengths to be at school on campus today so they could meet in person, and they had a lot of catching up to do!  The mentor reminded me that the last time they had seen each other, they were sitting in the cafeteria when the announcement about school closing for 6 weeks came over the intercom.  Who knew this closure would go on so long? This year, Mom reached out to me about how much her student missed and needed her mentor—no email or virtual meeting would do.  It took a while, but I was so happy to see them reunited today, and we are all determined to make sure they keep connecting in person regularly.  What a wonderful Christmas gift!

Yesterday I chatted with a mentor and his student who met on campus during lunch time as they talked and played a card game.  As they were wrapping up, the student seemed very happy and said, “That was really fun!  Great to see you today.”  He obviously enjoyed his time with his mentor and appreciated the relationship:  it was evident in his tone of voice and body language.  I remember over a year ago, this student was so quiet and uncommunicative.    The mentor struggled to get him to talk he was very emotionally guarded.  The mentor asked several times: “Am I doing anything here? Does he even like me?”  The mentor and I enjoyed reflecting about how far he has come since they started meeting.  Truly a joy to see.

Program Update:

  • 12 mentor/mentee pairs have been meeting each week in person at the high school either after school or on Fridays—observing social distancing and health requirements
  • Two more mentor student pairs reconnected in person after not seeing each other since March!
  • Another match is reconnecting after the student moved away for a year, and has now returned to Lynden
  • 8 mentor/mentee pairs have been meeting regularly in the community with off-campus contract privileges
  • Several other pairs are meeting via zoom weekly or bi-weekly
  • A few are still struggling to connect for a variety of reasons

Text-Bridge Pilot:  7 pairs participating to try this out and give feedback

 Continuing to support our newest BTO program and coordinator at Lynden Christian

Upcoming:

  • Planning Mentor Equipping for January 13th over zoom: student panel will share with mentors; each coordinator selected a student to represent their school.
  • We will continue to be flexible and adjust as schedules change throughout the year. LHS hopes to have more students back on campus in 2021.
  • I will be attending the National Mentoring Summit at the end of January (virtual conference) and am looking forward to learning and engaging with others in the field.