Stories to share:
Have a long-term perspective and be patient: We always tell new mentors that they need to have a long-term perspective and have a lot of patience as they develop a relationship with a student. Don’t expect miracles or big changes right away! I had an enjoyable conversation with a mentor and his sophomore student recently about this. When they met in middle school, the student was very quiet, withdrawn, not very talkative or confident, and not excelling in school. Over time, they have developed a wonderful relationship. The student is comfortable talking about anything. The mentor shows up each week and steadily encourages him. Now this student is more comfortable at school, more confident, and doing well in his classes—all A’s and B’s this semester. None of this happened overnight, but gradually over time. The student says: “When we first met, I was really quiet, and he would teach me to add details to conversation and say more than just ‘yeah’. Now it is easier for me to have conversations and talk to adults. My mentor always encourages me to do assignments and stay caught up instead of procrastinating and getting stressed.”
Looking back, you can see the impact. We don’t always see the value of something in the throes of it. Mentoring Research indicates that young people don’t recognize the impact someone makes in their life during the teenage years until they are about 24 years old. (MENTOR Partnership statistics) That’s why I love the quote that mentoring is like “planting trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” This past week has been full of hearing stories from experienced mentors who still have contact with their mentees long after graduation. I’ve heard about college experiences, training programs, new jobs, marriages, buying a first house, starting a family. It’s wonderful to hear about our former students being successful and how they continue to benefit from long-term relationships with caring adult. Thank you mentors for making a difference!
· We hosted a New Mentor Orientation on January 13th which brought 3 quality mentors. They will be matched right away with waiting students at LMS and LHS.
· Covid continues to present challenges with attendance for many students. I have had mentors sick as well. I’m grateful for those mentors who continue to show-up and roll with it. I’m also very grateful for the district allowing mentors to be tested if they are exposed or having symptoms. Great peace of mind for many!
· New matches made last month are starting out well. Two more will start with the new semester.
· Next New Mentor Orientation will be February 16th.
· Brian and I will present a Mentor Equipping Feb. 8/9 on tips to go deeper in conversations with mentees. Advance sign-ups required due to space limitations (social distancing)
· We will be offering a Youth Mental Health First Aid Class on Saturday, Feb. 26th. Mentors will have first priority for sign-ups; then it will be open to the district and public.
· We are looking forward to being able to have an end of the year celebration on the boat! It’s been 3 years since we have been able to do this. Many students currently in the program have never done this! Looking forward to May 20th!