Discover what is happening on all 5 school campuses with Be The One.
Ferndale | Lynden High School | Lynden Middle School | Lynden Christian | Nooksack Valley
Ferndale High School
Ferndale High School
Stories to share:
It often takes time to develop trust, comfortability, and ease of conversation between a mentor and student who are just beginning to meet every week. This is typically when mentors come to the mentor coordinators wondering if they are making a difference in their student’s life or not. One of the coordinators received a text from a new BTO student’s guardian. It said, “He came home smiling from ear-to-ear today!” Our mentors do not always get the luxury of seeing their effect on a student, but this mentor got an insider’s scoop this month.
A veteran mentor met her 4th mentee. After her initial meeting with the student, a coordinator saw her talking to the career center counselor. When approached by the coordinator, she said, “Oh, I just stopped to connect the career counselor with a scholarship opportunity and a career opportunity I know about.” The mentor said it as if it was not a big deal, yet we remember when she was new and did not know how to navigate our school resources! Community members who volunteer at FHS are learning how to support an individual student, but also our students at large!
Mentors tend to find unique ways to show their support to their mentee. A BTO student is in the leadership class and was a prominent speaker in the Veteran’s Day assembly. Her mentor reached out to the mentor coordinator to find out when the assembly was and surprised the student by attending. The student immediately recognized her mentor in the crowd and was beaming! On a similar note, a mentee is turning 18 next week and the mentor is bringing balloons, snacks and a card to celebrate her. And lastly, a mentor meets with her mentee during art class, and they work on art projects together. This mentor is already planning to get her mentee art supplies as a holiday gift in December. Each BTO student and mentor’s relationship is unique, so mentors find special ways to show their mentee they care about them.
A mentor was in the hospital this month. He is thankfully recovering! His mentee wrote him a get-well card. Sometimes the mentees take care of their mentors, too.
Looking Back (November) – Recruiting, Training and Matching new mentors and Students, distributing/collecting BTO Merch Forms & offering ongoing training for mentors (Nov 14/15 in Lynden)
Looking Ahead (December) – Recruiting, Training and Matching new mentors and Students & preparing to transition to new FHS building. Upcoming Activity of the Month: Cookie Decorating!
Total: 27 Mentoring Pairs (3 more than last month)
Activity of the Month: Thankfulness Cards – Cards, stickers, sharpies were provided by BTO.
The record was 6 cards filled out in 1 hour! They kept coming back for more: “Oh wait, I forgot someone else.” We did cap the stickers to 2 per person so we could have enough for all!
Another student anonymously wrote thank you cards to his friends. He even had his Eagle Time teacher deliver them so his friends would not discover who wrote the cards. He pranked them with kindness!
2 Part-time BTO Coordinators at FHS – Annie Anderson works Mondays and Tuesdays. Michele Barmore works Thursdays and Fridays. No on-site Mentor Coordinator Wednesdays.
BTO New Mentor Orientation – Tues Nov 8th @ Ferndale Public Library – 1 person attended and moving forward!
Dodgeball Tournament to support FHS wrestling – Mon Dec 5th at 7pm in FHS Gym – BTO Dodgeball team consists of current mentors, BTO Community Engagement Team members, BTO Alumni and even a Partners for Schools board member. Cheerleaders are requested!
BTO Mentor Equipping – Nov 14/15 at Lynden MS – ACES Training (Childhood Trauma impact on the brain) – 1 FHS mentor attended
Mentor Coordinator Meeting– Hosted by FHS Coordinators at Edaleen Dairy
Mentor Coordinators check in with each other and collaborate on a regular basis.
Lynden Middle School
Lynden Middle School
Stories to Share
Nominating an Inspiring Adult
This November, we decided to honor inspiring and impacting adults in our community. Some middle school students took the time to nominate 48 people in our community who have made a difference in their lives. The students who participated wrote wonderful things about their real-life heroes. Moving forward, we will honor some of these individuals at a later date.
One student decided to nominate her mentor for the LMS “inspiring adult contest.” Here is what the girl said about her mentor of only a few months:
“My mentor is so funny. She is good at making me feel so happy! I have been with her for a short time, but she is so kind and brings me a special gift each week. I am so glad she is in my life, and I cannot believe she wants to come and meet with me! She is the BEST MENTOR EVER!”
Whatever it Takes
We have a student that struggles in school like many others. The student is small and often gets picked on by others and does not have strong role models at home. The student received a mentor last year and the two are now inseparable. The mentor has dedicated their time to the student and is planning on staying with the student all the way through high school. This is so significant because the student has no one else to believe in them. The student feels they have one supportive adult in their life…their mentor! I can’t imagine where this student would be without a mentor.
Mentoring by the Numbers at LMS
· 30 active matches at the middle school
· 2 new matches were made in the month of September
· 2 matches ended this month (1 student ended the program/ 1 student moved)
· 8 Students on our wait list, waiting for a mentor
· 17 potential students interested or referred to the program
· 226 hours of mentoring so far this school year
Recruiting and Training New Mentors: We had to cancel a few new mentor orientations due to the lack of new people signing up. This means we need a new batch of people willing to become a mentor. If you know someone that would be great, reach out to me.
Mentor Training: We had our second in-person training of the school year, and it was a fabulous training. Coral Bartlett came and spoke about ACES (Adverse childhood experiences), trauma and helping teens. We had over 25 mentors come to learn. Some say this was the best training we have ever had.
Scavenger Hunt Activity: We had a small activity for mentors and students to do together. They searched for some things around the school and took some selfies together. They had a lot of fun.
Getting new mentors matched as soon as possible.
Working on trainings and Youth Mental Health First Aid
Talking to my long list of students referred to the program
Lynden High School
Lynden High School
Stories to share:
A focus on thankfulness this month brought some sweet moments. Many students wrote cards of appreciation and took photos with mentors using our “Thankful” photo area. One student asked me to take a picture of her with her mentor so she could submit it to the yearbook. Another student wrote: “I’m so thankful for my mentor who has been with me for 4 years. Our time together is very special to me.” Another student said, “I’m thankful for my mentor who is always there for me,” as they posed on the haybales together.
Mentors can share in the joy of students reaching an important milestone and celebrating with them. A few students have recently received permits or passed their driver’s license test. Everyone is excited about the accomplishment along with the new freedom and responsibility. One mentor and student pair have been working on completing an application for a driver’s education class scholarship together. The process includes great life skills such as putting together and resume, writing a personal statement, and asking for letters of recommendation. The mentor’s encouragement keeps him motivated and moving forward on his goal.
Another mentors and student recently spent time together on a fundraising project where the student is selling coffee for a band trip. His mentor helped him come up with his sales pitch and think of people he could approach; he coached him along as he talked to several people in the school building. By the end of their meeting time that day, he already had 12 orders! It really helped the student get off to a good start and develop confidence in his sales ability!
Highlights of this month:
· 48 active matches; 5 students on waitlist
· Thank a Caring Adult: cards provided to students at lunches—over 150 written to various adults including mentors and staff members.
· November 9th: presentation to Careers in Education Class touching on mentoring and thanking caring adults.
· November 10: Supported Nooksack Valley coordinator by participating in her New Mentor Orientation for Everson City employees.
· Saturday School Nov. 19th Well attended and productive! Thanks to Partners for Schools volunteers for providing breakfast.
· November Mentor Equipping on Nov. 14: Coral Bartlett presented on ACES; very impactful training for those who attended. Unfortunately, the Nov. 15th session had to be cancelled after a fire in the middle school. Rescheduled for Dec. 1.
· New Mentor Orientation Dec. 2nd
· Saturday School: Jan 7th Breakfast and Tutoring
· Our last day of school before break is December 16.
Lynden Christian High School
Lynden Christian High School
I had the opportunity to go through all five sections of freshman health on November 4. I shared about Be The One and my process to find a mentor who fits their specific needs and interests. Twenty-five of the students asked for either more information, a meeting with me, or directly ask for a mentor. Two students have already returned their permission slips, and are waiting for their mentor. I will continue meeting with all other interested students and hope and pray that I can find mentors to match each and every one at the right time.
Two new matches! My excitement for these matches is unparalleled. I love when I get the opportunity to make a match and they just fit.
The student had patiently waited all year for the right mentor to come along and in their first meeting it was an instant connection. I didn’t even have to meet with the student after to see if she thought it was a good fit because she said to her mentor, “I can’t wait to see you next week- I want to bring a treat for you!” After the student left her mentor let out a big sigh (of relief), and said, “I can’t believe how fantastic she is- we have so much to talk about, so much in common.” The wait was worth it in my eyes, and I look forward to watching this match blossom over these next few months.
This match came about very naturally. The student approached me at school one morning at the beginning of November and asked who I was and what I did at LC. I explained my role to her and she thought that mentoring sounded fun, but wasn’t sure how it could fit in her schedule. The student and I met a few days later so I could get to know her a bit better. I was also able to take a look at her schedule and talk to a few key staff members and found some times that it could work. With permissions granted I still had the task of finding the right mentor. This student needed a mentor who was compassionate, who matched her depth, who would be able to help her continue to develop her story, who could be a listening ear, and who shared her profound love and knowledge of Jesus and the Bible. Only one person came to my mind that could fit the role of this mentor. I have known her since I was four years old, and few years back when I got hired at LC this wonderful woman had mentioned that if I ever had a student who she would be a good match with to let her know- she had been a mentor before and liked the prospect of volunteering at Lynden Christian as well as in the public school. So, I did- I reached out to her and shared a little about the prospective match, and she agreed to pray over the possibilities to come. Two days later I got a message that read, “I’ve been praying and listening, and I just keep looking forward to meeting this precious girl. Already anticipating encouraging her, and I guess that’s the answer from the Lord!” So, before Thanksgiving break they met, and at the end of their first meeting the student said to me, “Wow, you really made a good match with us.” [Psalm 23:5]
· I know it is getting redundant, but I need to expand our mentor pool of both male and female mentors. I don’t have a deep pool mentors to match with students and each student is unique, so just because I have a couple mentors waiting doesn’t mean they will be the right fit. Hoping that people can continue to spread the word so that people will be encouraged to pursue becoming qualified mentors. The next Orientation/ Information session is schedule for Friday, December 2 from 9-11am.
UPDATES + UPCOMING PLANS:
· Nine matches are meeting regularly (up two from seven in October).
· Two students are on the wait list waiting for their right match, and 15 others have requested more information.
· Deb swiftly created some beautiful materials for me to use as promo for students and mentors alike.
· I am continuing to meet with students who expressed interest in having a mentor.
· December 1- Mentor equipping session hosted at Lynden Middle School from 8:30-10:00am|| Topic: Adverse Childhood Effects (ACES)
· December 2- New Mentor Orientation/ Information session 9:00-11:00am
Nooksack Valley High School
Nooksack Valley High School
–Set up a table at Fall Open House at NVHS and had a parent sign up to be a mentor!
-Trained City of Everson employees!
-Began hanging up posters in local businesses and spaces
-Met with local community leaders
-Building rapport with students!
-A “hold” drill did not disrupt a mentor-mentee meeting time, instead of meeting in the library per usual, they played a game in my office
-Matches are in the works!!!!
-Having fun with a student who helped hang up posters on high school campus
-Witnessed some beautiful sunrises (NV Middle School) and sunsets (NV high school). We live, work, volunteer, etc in such a gorgeous county!
–Be seen by students, staff, parents and community members on campus and school events.
-Visit classes and re-introduce program to students
-Continue to hang posters in local businesses and community areas of Nooksack, Everson and Sumas
-Continue to vet new mentor applicants and meet with students.
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