Lynden High School – End Of Year

Mentor Coordinator Report

Number of Current Matches: 68

We hit an all-time high of 68 matches for most of this school year, and continue to have students referred who are on the waitlist for next fall. Several new matches began this year, but the vast majority represent multi-year relationships. Since many of these started at LMS, our high school program certainly benefits from the excellent work done by the middle school coordinator.

Seeing students grow:
Several mentees made huge strides this year in terms of academics, attendance, school engagement, and future planning. Others took risks to join new activities, try out for teams, compete with HOSA, FFA, and FBLA, start new jobs, and improve relationships. Nine mentees graduated. Six of these had been meeting since middle school. Individual student write-ups will be shared with Partners for Schools for use throughout the next year in newsletters and marketing (with pseudonyms and media releases on file).

Supporting students in struggles:
Mentors walked alongside students who experienced sorrow and difficulties this year: the death of a parent, the breakdown of a family, eviction from housing, a mental health crisis and hospitalization, a parent experiencing domestic violence, a student revealing sexual abuse. Each of these situations is deeply personal and confidential. I don’t know what the students would have done without their mentors, who many times are the first to hear about a concerning issue and help gather needed support. Many mentees express that their mentors help them deal with stress, anxiety and depression, which improves their mental health.

Mentor survey statistics:
Continuing next year: only 2 mentors said they were unsure about continuing
Of Mentors surveyed:
Only 10% were in their first year of mentoring
52% have been mentoring 2-3 years
38% have been mentoring more than 3 years

This continues to show a high retention rate of our mentors and multi-year relationships for students. (The national average is only 50% for mentoring relationships lasting more than one year.) I believe this is largely due to the support we give mentors with training, regular check-ins, coaching, and showing appreciation.

Looking ahead to 2024-25

Continued large number of matches with 20 coming up from LMS
Large number of upperclassmen in mentoring next year (15 seniors and 15 juniors) The vast majority of these have been mentoring since their freshman year or middle school. This would be the perfect time to consider a BTO scholarship for a graduating senior.
It will continue to be a challenge to schedule all matches and find meeting spaces
Mentors suggested some good training topics that we haven’t covered before, so we will try to work these in for our Mentor Equipping sessions next year
I like the idea of monthly themes and optional activities and will try to plan more for next year

Stories & Quotes To Share:

“I don’t do as well when I don’t have her to talk to.  We can talk about a problem-there is always a solution. It’s really helpful with stress, I can talk with her about how to deal with teachers.  She has helped me have better communication with people.”

“Mentoring helps with the stress of school and family issues.  I can talk to him and then I always feel 10 times better than before. Having fun with him and laughing is the best part. He makes even the hardest times easier to handle.  I try to do that with my friends. He cares for the community—encourages me to help others, and I try to do that.”

Submitted by Lisa Reynolds –