Stories to share:

Seeing Growth:  This afternoon, a mentor and I had the chance to reflect on student growth. He has been with his student since middle school.  As a 7th grader, the mentee struggled with school, was very unmotivated and barely said two words. He wasn’t comfortable talking with others and felt intimidated with adults. Now, four years later, the student is doing well in school, feels comfortable in his classes and is talking with his teachers. When they meet, the mentor can hardly get a word in edgewise! Here’s how the student describes his mentor’s impact on him:

“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.” He also says, “My mentor encourages me to do assignments and stay caught up instead of procrastinating and getting stressed. He tells me to get the work done first, and then I can go play games afterwards.” 

It’s not about getting out of class:  Sometimes people think that students want to meet with a mentor just so they can get out of class. While some students might joke about this, I find it is rarely the motivating factor. This year more than ever, I have many matches meeting in ways that don’t impact class time. Quite a few meet after school at 2:15.  This week I had a student in the mentoring program come to me and say, “Is there any way I can move my mentor meeting to after school? I don’t want to miss class!” Fortunately, transportation is not a problem and they will start meeting at 2:15 next week!

Program Updates:

·         Recent flooding impacted many families in our district, including some mentees. Mentors have been helpful in reporting student needs as they hear details. Many mentors have also been helping others in the community, showing care for others and being good role models to our students.

·         Needs are great not only in our district, but even more so with our Nooksack Valley neighbors. For those who are inclined to support in some way, our district Family Services has several families who have lost everything.  Donations of clothing, bedding, and basic hygiene items are most helpful. Many local churches and area non-profits are helping fill needs throughout the county.

·         Covid continues to present challenges with attendance for some of our students. I’m thankful that mentors are understanding when they hear their mentee is quarantined or exposed and can’t meet.

·         As we approach Thanksgiving, I am extremely grateful for mentors who continue to invest and support our young people.

Upcoming Events:

·         New Mentor Orientation:  December 1

·         Continuing to seek new student referrals. I received three names this past week of students interested.