On Monday, Nov. 5, and Tuesday, Nov. 6, three members of the TeamMates staff were in Custer and Hermosa to talk with students about the program, train the advisory board and train new mentors.
TeamMates staffers DeMoine Adams, Beth Roberts and Ally Horne started their time in Custer and Hermosa with a student presentation to Custer third through seventh graders. Adams, a former Nebraska and NFL football player, talked to the students about choices and being part of a team. He also talked about the importance of mentors in his life and how a mentor can help you become a better version of yourself. He added that mentors were not there to judge the students and their actions, but instead to be a “cheerleader” for the student in good and bad times. The same program was given to Hermosa third through eighth-grade students later in the day.
Adams encouraged students who wanted to be a part of the program to request paperwork from the building principal. The result was overwhelming. There were over 70 students who “self-nominated” into the program from Custer and over 20 in Hermosa. Students can also be nominated into the program by a parent of a staff member, but the student must agree to be in the program.
The TeamMates staff also gave an information program to the community members, staff and parents in the two communities. They also trained people who had already signed up to be a mentor. The two to three hour training gave people the ins and outs of the program and what the expectations were. All mentoring is done on the school campus during the school day. Between the two sites there were 22 mentors trained.
The TeamMates program has shown to improve attendance, grades and behavior for students who are mentees. The addition of another caring adult in their lives is very valuable and makes a difference for years to come. Mentors often say they learned and got more out of the mentoring relationship than their mentee did, often making the program a win for all involved.
The Custer and Hermosa TeamMates program is in desperate need of more mentors. Twenty three mentors were trained, while seventy plus students have asked for a mentor. There will be more mentoring training in the near future.
If you are interested in mentoring a young persons contact Mark Naugle at 673-3154 or mark.nau