Lynden High School – June 2022 End of year – Coordinator Report

BTO End of Year Report for 2021-22
Lynden High School

Month of June Highlights:

  • Final meetings wrapped up the first week of June for all pairs
  • Everyone received photos
  • 7 students with mentors graduated: mentors were able to attend ceremony in person or watch online; some reported attending or hosting grad parties
  • Matches who couldn’t attend the May cruise received Edaleen gift cards to use for their last meeting (went off campus with parent permission)
  • Listened to all student interviews (audio recordings). 34/36 participated
  • Sent Thank You cards to mentors including feedback from their student’s interview
  • Online surveys sent to all mentors and students—assessed results
  • YMHFA Class on June 18th is full (Brian and I will co-teach)
  • Whole year overview 2021-22—things to celebrate!
  • This was a rebuilding year after covid and our match count is up significantly from the beginning of the year. Several new matches got off to a good start and plan to continue. No matches ended during the year.
  • Several multi-year matches continued to deepen their relationships and plan to stay in touch after graduation. We are now at the point where next year’s seniors who started in middle school will be in their 7th year with the same mentor.
  • Wonderful to be able to have our cruise again this year! Greatly enjoyed by students and mentors
  • Mentors continue to be present in the lives of students during times of trauma and distress.
  • 61% of students interviewed specifically talked about mentors having a key role in their mental health.
  • 100% of students with mentors (who will still be at LHS next year) want to continue mentoring.
  • All but one mentor of these students is already committed to returning next year
  • Whole year overview—challenges moving forward for 2022-23
  • We continue to see the impact of covid on student attendance and well-being. The long-term impacts of the past two years will continue.
  • The percentage of students with mentors who specifically mentioned mental health concerns (anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt) is higher than I have ever seen in 9 years (61% of student interviews). Mentors want additional training in mental health (reported on surveys).
  • Many students and mentors have expressed the desire to meet over the summer. In terms of mental health support, we might want to discuss this with the district in the future.
  • We have need for Spanish speaking mentors (requested by students)
  • Covid disrupted our on-going mentor training that we offer throughout the school year. Plan to offer 4 on-going trainings in 2022-23 using topics from mentor surveys.

Quotes from LHS Senior Interviews:
“It helps to have someone to talk to get my mind off things . . . to have an outlet and have fun. It’s good
to have someone to hang with. . . it’s easier to do life. It’s good to have a role model. I see all that he has
accomplished and it’s very inspiring to me. I want that, too.”

“Before, I didn’t have anyone to talk to . . . My mom wasn’t there for me—she had 6 kids and was having
to take care of all of them all the time. I was doing my own thing . . . trying to get noticed and get some
attention . . . went down a dark path for a while before I came back . . . Having a mentor helps me
connect to others and gives me more confidence to talk to others . . . not just keep things in my head.”

Quotes from LHS Junior Interviews:
“My life is definitely better because of [my mentor]. For quite a while my mental state was really bad—I
was not in a good head space . . . meeting with him always gave me something to look forward to . . . I
knew he would be there and be consistent . . . .I definitely needed that.”

“It’s important because I have someone I can go to . . . I know that I can go to [my mentor] with anything
if I need to . . . he would understand and be there for me. It’s very important to have someone to fall
back on who will support me no matter what. I don’t trust people easily, but I do trust [my mentor] a lot
. . . there’s a lot of things I would tell him.”

Quotes from LHS Sophomore Interviews:
“It’s great to have him . . . as a young male, to grow up and become a man, you need that male figure.
[my mentor] has been that for me—he listens—that’s the big part. My Dad has never done that. . . . .
[my mentor] has been a great substitute father figure. Just being honest. I know other men, but he is
the best.”

“I used to be really shy . . . meeting [my mentor] made me more outgoing, able to speak up more,
brought me out with others, too. I have more confidence . . . it’s easier to meet other people. It’s helpful
because I carry a lot of stress at school—I meet with her and the stress is gone . . . I feel relief when I’m
with her.”

“Yes, I recommend mentoring . . . it really helps out your mental health and relieve stress . . . . you get the
privilege of talking to someone who is not family.”

Quotes from LHS Freshmen Interviews:
“I really like her as a person . . . it makes my day feel better when I get to see her. . . She makes me feel
happy. She is always there to listen. I feel like she has made me more of a nice person—I look up to her .
. . I want to be there for other people like she is for me . . . she’s kind of a role model . . . I never had
anyone like her in my life before this.”

“Mentoring benefits me because I have more self-confidence . . . struggled a lot in my life . . . now I think
better of myself when I’m low . . . it can help you survive . . . gives self-confidence to get through stuff
and believe in myself.”

“It helps me to talk about stress, the stressors in life. I can talk to her about all of it. When I wasn’t
talking to anyone, it was hard . . . now I have [my mentor] and it’s better . . . not so much pressure.”

“It’s good to talk and have a mental break during the day . . . . very helpful. I think it helps me have less
anxiety—I think my mental health is improving.”

Quotes from Mentor Surveys: 34/36 returned
Question: What do you enjoy about mentoring?
Responses below
“It’s wonderful to spend time with a teen who wants someone to listen and be there for them.”

“The smile on her face as she enjoys our conversations about what is happening in her life…We have only
been meeting for about 3 months it feels like we have known each other forever ❤️”

“I love encouraging my Mentee, reminding her that she is precious and valued, and has great potential in
life. It was fun sharing our similar interest like art, gardening, foods and lattes!”

“The joy of watching my student open up and accept me as a friend she can rely on. I value her trust. She
has matured so much over the past 4 school years.”

“I enjoy this boy’s curiosity and gentle nature. It gives me a real feeling of satisfaction, – that I’m
contributing to the future in ways that will last.”

“Being another source for a student to bounce ideas off of and being a positive voice of encouragement
as an adult that is not their parent.”

“I love the relationship we’ve built, that she feels safe to confide in me. I love being able to give her advice
and encourage her.”

“I enjoy the simple things. Hearing about their day, what is happening with school, and playing Uno. For
me I feel honored to be able to step into his life. I am slow in pushing for more detailed info, just building
up a relationship and trust this year. But I am able to ask the right questions at the right times.”

“Seeing how big of an impact I am making on his life. He doesn’t have someone to talk to about the
things he opens up to me about. I feel so blessed to be part of his life.”

“The end result. Seeing a young life affected in a positive way. Witnessing the success.”

“I enjoy watching the changes in him. He is a very interesting young man who is no longer shy.”

“I get to have a teen-aged friend. I get to share in his life and he in mine. I had plenty of brothers but no
sons, so he kind of brings me back to a guy’s life. He is good to be around. I look forward to what his life
will bring for him. I am willing to be around for him on into the future.”

“the physical, mental, and emotion growth of student. mine is awesome kid.”

“I like being able to just be myself without the expectation of being an authority figure, which I think gives
the student permission to be authentic as well. I love hearing their perspective and the things they think
about and what’s important to them, even if it’s just popular culture. I always wanted to have a mentor so
I love being able to give this time to a young person who wants it.”

“I’m enjoying getting to know my student more every week and creating a bond that grows deeper as
time goes on.”

“I’m enjoying getting to know my student more every week and creating a bond that grows deeper as
time goes on.”

So grateful for our amazing mentors! Looking forward to 2022-23