Stories to Share

It is Well Worth It

I spoke with a new mentor who was matched this past month with a new student.  I asked him how he got connected with BE THE ONE and he told me a fascinating story.  He went on to say that he had first heard about the program from people in his church and he had seen the banners all around town.  Deep down he knew it was something he should do but dragged his feet along the way. Then he met Denny McHarness, who encouraged him to be a mentor not just once, but on three separate occasions.  Finally, the mentor knew this was something he should do. He turned in his application and attended the new mentor orientation and was quickly matched with a student in need. His one regret was not signing up 2 years ago.  ~ Permission to share.

Mentoring is Growing Traction

It’s amazing how a conversation with one person can lead to multiple people entering the program.  We were potentially gaining a mentor who was fluent in Spanish and English. However, I did not have any girls on my waitlist that spoke Spanish.  I took the opportunity to ask some of our staff members that work directly with students who speak Spanish. Within 30 minutes I was introduced to a girl who just moved here from another Latin American country.  Through a translator, I explained the program and instantly the girl was excited about the program. The next day, she brought her signed permission slip to school along with her friend to translate. Her friend then asked about the program and she too wanted a mentor and returned her permission form to me the following day.  It did not stop there. The pair of girls then explained the program to other friends and now they too are interested. This story shows how important mentoring can be for students even when they don’t always realize the program exists.

 ~ Permission to share.

Mentors are Exhibiting the Skill of Being Flexible

Every mentee is different, and every mentee connects with other people in their own unique way.  One such pair goes outside every week despite what weather conditions are headed out way. The two connect playing sports together rain or shine.  As the days are getting colder, I was getting more concerned with the pair heading outside. I mentioned it to the mentor and was surprised by his answer.  He told me, “it may be cold but that is how we connect. The student opens up and talks more when we are active outside than any other time we talk or play games inside.”  With that, I let them be. If they are connecting, who am I to change anything. ~ Permission to Share

Unique Way to Promote the Program

We had one mentee invite her mentor to sit with her at lunch to “hang” with her friends.  The mentor took it in stride and sat down with the group of friends two weeks in a row. Now the other friends are asking about this mentoring program.  Our mentors are showing great compassion.

Mentoring Update at the Lynden Middle School:

  • 40 active matches at the middle school (An increase of 6 this month)
  • 1 match more to be made later this week
  • 7 students on our wait list ready for a mentor (3 girls/4 boys)
  • 14 potential students who want a mentor but have not turned in their applications
  • New Mentors: We are still gaining a few mentors each month, but we are starting to feel the strain of an empty mentor pool.

Program Development/Evaluation

  • Continuing to work on our Policy and Procedure Manual.  Our goal is to finish it by the end of the year.
  • Ongoing support towards other school districts with the BE THE ONE Program.

Report submitted by Brian Clemmer

  • To Partners for Schools board members via Nancy Mcharness
  • Other copies submitted to: Molly Mitchell-Mumma, Cyndi Selcho, Rex Frasier, David Vanderyacht, Lisa Reynold, Annie Anderson, Jim Schmotzer, Doug De Vries