Lynden High School –
Lisa Reynolds, Mentor Coordinator
A mentor brought her student to me after she shared some serious mental health concerns and was quite distraught about things going on at home—both past and present. She trusted her mentor to share this heavy load for the first time (they have been meeting for two years). Together we were able to get her in to her school counselor and start the process of getting her set up with mental health counseling. I’m so glad she had her mentor to talk to in this critical moment. Relationships save lives.
A mentor shared a story of growth with me about his student who he just met in October. They have been working on self-advocating: because the student lacks confidence and is frequently indecisive, his mentor has been pushing him to make decisions and state preferences during their time together, and that skill is translating to other parts of his life. As a result, he seems more comfortable at school, more engaged with peers, and generally happier. He now trusts his mentor and is starting to open up about more serious concerns in his life. Small steps make a difference.
Another mentor shared about the growth she has seen in her student who she has been working with for 4 years, since she was in middle school. This young lady is now doing much better in school academically and looking at plans for college. She used to isolate herself at school and avoid peers, but this year she is engaging with others in the halls and cafeteria as well as the classroom and has joined a club. I’ve noticed a huge difference! She also convinced her younger brother to ask for a mentor at LMS because she sees the benefit to her life. The longer a relationship continues, the more the student grows.
One young man recently shared how hesitant he had been to come to Improv class but decided to give it a try. While initially reluctant to participate, he became more and more comfortable each week. Recently in the appreciation circle at the end of a class he shared how he had felt invisible at school. For him being invisible was worse than being bullied because “when you are bullied you are at least seen”. Through his experience with peers and mentors, over the course of weeks, he felt accepted and valued. He was also proud of his greatly increased comfort in participation. Laughter is good medicine for all of us and one of life’s best teachers.
Nancy provides the critical backbone of labor, coordination and communication for Partners for Schools. She understands the heart beat and passion of our school leaders and teachers. “After raising our 4 kids, I know it just does not stop there. It really takes many individuals and a community to support kids, families and schools, and I love connecting the critical dots. Every child can benefit from a caring adult mentor”