Discover what is happening on all 5 school campuses with Be The One.
Ferndale High School
What kinds of activities do our mentors and mentees do for an hour? One mentor brought
embroidery as a craft to do while they chatted about the holidays. The mentor gave their
mentee a Santa hat during that meeting which was followed by a story of how she puts Santa
hats on all her Halloween décor, plants and now her mentee! Another clever idea was to watch
an art tutorial and compare their drawings. This BTO pair could be heard giggling in the BTO
Lounge as they drew the anime character together. With winter break around the corner, a
mentor and mentee created a book club and will read a murder mystery with the intention of
discussing it after break! And of course, there are always the games and activities provided by
BTO for the mentoring pairs to use. Any activity can enhance the mentor-mentee relationship,
but there were some special ones this month!
(See the accompanied pictures)
A graduated mentee met their mentor’s new baby boy! The mentee celebrated Thanksgiving
with their mentor’s family. They even deep fried a turkey! (See accompanied pic)
A FHS staff member is a BTO mentor. She shared that Be the One is one
of her favorite parts about her job. She values the connection with the
students at FHS, and even convinced her sister to become a mentor
(who also loves Be the One). Her affection for the program is
Students frequently absent from school are not a desirable fit for the
BTO program. Research suggests that mentees and mentors who consistently meet over a
prolonged period produce better outcomes. When students are frequently absent, it is much
harder to build a connection with their mentor. Recently, a student wanted a mentor, but he
was often absent. I expressed my concern to him. The student responded that he was not
normally absent and planned on being at school every day from now on. He also wanted to meet with his mentor the next day. And, wanted a note sent to class when his first scheduled
meeting would be. Based on his eagerness (and talking to the mentor), we are giving it a shot!
Total: 31 Mentoring Pairs (2 more than last month)
2 Part-time BTO Coordinators at FHS – Annie Anderson works Mondays and Tuesdays.
Michele Barmore works Thursdays and Fridays. Either Annie or Michele works on
November BTO Orientation – 3 people attended FHS training, 2 are continuing to
become a mentor. 4 FHS people attended Lynden training (1 is waiting until Jan, 3 are
continuing to become a mentor) 6 onboarding
December Orientation – 2 are scheduled for upcoming training
TextBridge – 3 mentors/students added to TextBridge
Presentation in 6 health classes scheduled for December 4 th /5 th .
Asking for mentor/mentee input to create an inviting space in BTO Lounge. Hoping
mentors/mentees will utilize space more often based on implementing their feedback.
(So far: Christmas lights, cushions for uncomfortable chairs, highlighting an activity in
the “window” room, more signage for how to use space, etc.)
Mentor Coordinators check in with each other and collaborate on a regular basis.
Lynden High School
Stories to Share:
Is it too late for me to get a mentor? Our leadership class invited one of my mentors to share with our
students about his 19 years in the Navy at our Veteran’s Day assembly. When he showed up wearing
his BTO shirt, our admin introduced him as a mentor and a veteran. While speaking, he encouraged
students to make the most of their opportunities and to appreciate the adults who work hard to provide
those opportunities. As soon as the assembly ended, a senior boy crossed the gym to find me and ask:
“Is it too late for me to get a mentor?” He knew about the program, but never thought it was
something he wanted until this mentor inspired him. Hoping to find him a great match.
Going deep quickly. A quiet, shy, freshman girl spent some time this fall waiting for a mentor who would
be a good fit. When I found a new mentor with similar interests, they seemed to hit it off right away in
a short amount of time. When checking in on their conversation during their fourth meeting, the
student told me: “We are going deep quickly!” She seemed surprised, but pleased at how well things
were going. The mentor shares her point of view about their match and is really enjoying getting to
Creating together. This month a BTO staffer put together a card making kit with all kinds of supplies so
that students and mentors could make Thank You cards for people in their lives. Many pairs enjoyed
creating cards together and talking about who they were taking time to thank. It’s always fun to see
their creativity and originality.
Highlights from this month:
November Mentor Equipping had to be rescheduled for December due to the speaker being ill.
New Mentor Orientation on Nov. 17 th . Several attendees scheduled for individual interviews
Mentors and students could make cards together using donated supplies. Thank you Deb!
December 2: First Saturday School this year. BTO provides breakfast
December 4: Mentor Café Day—trying something new. Opportunity for mentors to interact
and have more informal discussions and share ideas around mentoring
December 11/12—Mentor Equipping on Depression and Anxiety with Jordan Feigal (originally
scheduled for November.)
Dec. 15 th is our last day of school before Christmas break
Lynden Middle School
Stories to Share
Recruiting Friends to Be Mentors
The best way to recruit mentors is by having current mentors recruit their friends. They have first-hand
experience and know what it is like to meet with a student weekly. One such mentor took it a step further. He
recruited multiple people and he keeps spreading the word about the greatness of the program. As a result, we have had a wave of new mentors entering into the program as of late. Thanks Greg, and keep up the good work!
Creativity in Connection
One mentor really wanted to connect with their student. They asked about hobbies and interests and the student mentioned they really liked puzzles. The mentor realized it may be hard to continue working on a puzzle for multiple weeks, because the completed puzzle had nowhere to sit and be protected. So, the mentor came up with an ingenious idea. The mentor put two pieces of cardboard together as a transport device and every week is committing to bringing the puzzle so they can work on it. I love to see mentors use their creativity to connect.
Longing for Mentoring
One student decided that she no longer needed mentoring after the summer. This was fine and totally her
decision. We never want students to be forced into mentoring. However, just recently the student asked to be in the program again. She is hoping to connect with someone that relates to her culture and can speak Spanish with her. I am really proud of this student, because she can be shy and reserved. Now, I am tasked with finding the right person for her.
Mentoring by the Numbers at LMS
30 active matches at the middle school (most the middle school has ever had)
3 new matches were made this month
10 Students on our wait list, waiting for a mentor
15 potential students interested or referred to the program
195 hours of mentoring so far this school year
2 Mentoring pairs reached 50+ mentoring hours together. This is the fastest I have ever seen pairs reach
this mark. More are coming in the months ahead.
Recruiting and Training New Mentors: We had a new mentor orientation with 8 more new mentors from
a variety of schools. All were matched very quickly or will be soon.
Activities for Pairs: We did not have a specific activity this month, but we are looking to have a variety of
things in December.
Lynden Christian High School
FOUR pairs meeting weekly at Lynden Christian Schools (3 at HS+ 1 at MS)
ONE pending match slated to start in December at the middle school
ONE match will resume 2nd semester in January
FIVE students have been referred or are interested in having a mentor
Both new and seasoned matches continue to meet while navigating the holiday schedules.
I am hoping to plan a creative, simple craft for pairs to take part in, and also ordering some
new materials for the New Year which is fast approaching. I had the opportunity to meet
with a few more students who expressed some interest in having a mentor and got the
opportunity to meet with a parent who feels like their kids would benefit from having a
STORY TO SHARE:
“We are such a good match!” I recently had not one but two mentors say this exact phrase.
Mentors are loving spending time with their students and feel that their connections are
going beyond the surface. Not only are the mentors enjoying their time with their student
each week, but they are thinking about them through the week and praying for them during
their time apart, and dropping off notes just to show extra care. Mentors continue to refer
other kids to me and are helping to encourage students to be apart of Be The One.
- Circling through health classes to spread the word about Be The One
- Mentor Equipping December 11/12: “Depression/Anxiety in Teens” by Jordan
- New Mentor Orientation is scheduled in Ferndale, December 11
Nooksack Valley High School
- watching new matches start and connect
- the flexibility of mentors to come on different days during weeks when there is a holiday
- the excitement of picking a free BTO shirt, some plan to match with their mentor
- willingness of matches to be creative, I started a new match this month with a student who is
longing for connection but doesn’t want to miss any classes. I asked a mentor if they’ d be willing
to come during lunch one day a week.
- sadness and care from students when their mentor is home sick
- teachers who are just as excited as the student when their mentor is coming that day
- met with both local library staff to make sure they understand what BTO is and gave updated
brochures and posters. We had a great discussion about engaging teenagers.
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