Know a great mentor?

February 13, 2018

LSS Mentoring Services is seeking nominations for the 2018 Citibank Outstanding Mentor, the Sanford Outstanding Rookie Mentor and First PREMIER Bank/PREMIER Bankcard Community Partner awards. The awards, to be presented at the Annual Mentor Appreciation Breakfast on April 20, provide a platform to honor the contributions of individuals and organizations that have shown outstanding commitment to the mentor program.

Outstanding mentors are individuals who have proven their dedication to their student and the program. Rookie mentor nominees are people who have made a big impact in their first or second year of mentoring. Community partners nominations can include businesses, organizations, civic groups, schools or churches that have encouraged and advocated mentoring. If a community partner has received the award in the previous three years, they are not eligible this year. Organizations not eligible are Hegg Realty (2017), Oak Hills Church (2016) and Sanford Health (2015).

Anyone can make a nomination and self-nominations are also accepted. Please submit your nomination using the form below.

Nomination Form 2018

All nominations are due Monday, February 26. Materials may be sent via email to mentoring@lsssd.org, via fax to 444-7540 or mailed to LSS Mentoring Services, 705 E 41st Street, Suite 220, Sioux Falls, SD 57105.

The 2018 Mentor Appreciation Breakfast is sponsored by First PREMIER Bank/PREMIER Bankcard, Citi, Sanford, Wells Fargo, Raven Industries and HenkinSchulz Communication Arts.

For additional information on the nomination process, or to become a mentor, please call LSS Mentoring Services at 444-7803 or email mentoring@lsssd.org.


The Heart-Shaped Holiday

February 12, 2018

val1

Everyone is seeing red. Valentine’s Day is here. The day for lovers, for family, for friends, for co-workers – the official day when we show the important people in our lives how much they mean to us. The day is celebrated with cards, flowers and chocolates – and lots of them. Many of us grew up with the annual tradition of Valentine’s Day, we remember our parents and grandparents reminiscing about it.

 

But how long has this special day actually been around? The answer is quite simple: Forever. The beginnings of this romantic day are anything but romantic – they are rather mysterious. Christian and Pagan rituals evolved into the way Valentine’s Day is celebrated today.
Many legends surround the saint named Valentine. One story tells about Valentine, a Roman priest, who secretly married young lovers until he was found out and thrown into prison. There, he fell in love with a young woman who visited him on a regular basis. Shortly before his death he penned her a letter and signed it ‘from your Valentine,’ a phrase that is still associated with this special day. All the tales that speak of the beginnings of this tradition center around a romantic hero named Valentine.
The British Library in London has the oldest Valentine’s card on display – written in 1415 by the Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was held in the Tower of London. Americans started designing their own hand-made cards, beautifully decorated with ribbons and lace, as far back as 1700. In 1840 these cards were replaced by the first printed, mass-produced cards. About 150 million Valentine’s Day cards exchange hands every year, only the number of Christmas cards is higher; 85% are bought by women.
Many countries around the world celebrate the day with their own traditions. Denmark sees the exchange of pressed, white flowers called snowdrops. France, with a reputation for romance, had a rather unusual tradition. On February 14, men and women would fill up houses on opposite sides of a street. Then they would call out to each other and pair off that way. The women who were left behind later gathered for a huge bonfire where they burned pictures of the men who stood them up and insulted them greatly. Over the years, this event got so out of hand that the French government banned it altogether. In China women prepare elaborate offerings of fruit to Zhinu, a heavenly king’s daughter, in hopes of attracting a worthy husband.
How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day?

Written by Silke Hansen, ESL Instructor

 


Meet Pat and Egide

January 26, 2018

20171109_130932Just a little over a year ago, Pat Tiefenthaler started mentoring Egide, a student at Whittier Middle School. They have quickly formed a meaningful relationship and have no intention on stopping anytime soon.

“The reason I mentor is that God placed people in my life, whether it was family or a teacher or coach who made an impact on me and I want to do the same for Egide,” said Pat.

Egide, who comes from a family with seven kids, loves the one on one time with Pat. They have a shared passion for basketball and have enjoyed playing the game together. In fact, Pat taught Egide how to do an around the back move that Egide has inserted into his games playing for Whittier Middle School.

While basketball has been a common bond for this match, their relationship is much deeper than sports. “Having a mentor has helped make a difference in my grades,” said Egide. “If I feel myself start to slack I think of what Pat would think and push up.” Egide also was quick to point out that Pat is consistent and that he felt “safe around him and know that I can trust him.”

“Egide is such a great kid that can light up a room with that smile,” said Pat. “I tell him to dream big and to work hard to be whatever he wants to be.”

Most of all, both Egide and Pat have fun. “I look forward to our meetings every Thursday,” said Egide. “It’s fun and helps me with everything — school, home.”

Pat heard about mentoring from his employer, First Bank & Trust/Fishback Financial Solutions, as well as his church, Ransom. He is happy that he made the decision to apply. “It’s our time to give back and make a difference,” said Pat. “Mentoring takes so little time, but the impact on a child can last a lifetime. I wish more people would consider mentoring as it’s one of the most rewarding experiences there is.”


So NOW What?

January 25, 2018

You’ve done it.  You set a goal and, after years of work, have finally accomplished that goal.  That’s right, you finished your college degree.  With that accomplishment comes another question.  “So now what?”  That can be a pretty loaded question.  Does it include career?  Just finding a job?  Location?  Home purchase?  Relationship?  Family?  Vehicle?  More education?  Vacation?  There is a lot of think about when you ask “So now what?”.  While these all matter, I have one more question you need to ask your self –

“So now what about my student loans?”

Unfortunately, many people respond with, “What do you mean?  I just start paying them…. or something…. at some point in time….”  Well, yes, that’s true.  BUT THERE’S SO MUCH MORE! Read the rest of this entry »


Remembering

January 16, 2018

“What movement tried to end racial discrimination?” The Civil Rights Movement
“What did Martin Luther King, Jr. do?” Fought for civil rights

As a Citizenship Class instructor, I have the privilege of sharing about the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. every session. Before discussing the 1960s, we cover the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, and the Emancipation Proclamation. The focus then jumps to World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II before moving to Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. The history questions for the Naturalization Interview do not hide the long history of slavery in the United States. Students learn early in the session that slavery existed in the “thirteen original colonies.”

“What group of people was taken to America and sold as slaves?” People from Africa

To help students understand “racial discrimination” and what life was like in the United States for many African Americans following the Civil War and during the time of Dr. King, we often look at the infamous pictures of segregated water fountains and bathrooms. I tend to avoid the darker pictures of lynchings and angry mobs, not wanting to rouse any post-traumatic stress in our refugee and immigrant clients.

In reality, they “know” discrimination in a much deeper sense than me, their instructor. Many experienced racial, ethnic, or religious discrimination in their own countries. The Nepali-speaking refugees from Bhutan, the Kunama refugees from Eritrea, the Karen and Karenni refugees from Myanmar and many other minority groups that we serve at the Center for New Americans fled or were expelled from unbearable conditions.

 

MLK-injustice-anywhere-quote

(Photo courtesy of AND JUSTICE FOR ALL)

 

Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote the lines above in 1963 from where he sat in a Birmingham jail following mass demonstrations of organized civil disobedience. Its truth rang loudly when it was first read, and continues to resonate reality today. I love my job and I love interacting with and learning more about my students, but their daily presence is also a stark reminder that gross injustices have occurred and continue to occur in many of their countries. I am grateful they now live in the United States without fearing for their lives. I am grateful for the rights guaranteed them and protecting them in the Bill of Rights and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but I wonder about their family and friends not here…those still in the refugee camps, those still in their native countries. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” My students remind me that we are all responsible for each other.

Written by Kadie Becker; Reposted by Heather Glidewell, ESL Instructor


Confession Time

January 12, 2018

All right, I’m not even Catholic, but it’s time for a little confession.  In our department, we have committed an act of which we speak hesitantly in public.  We are all in on it and equally guilty.  We have high hopes and yet are quite unlikely to actually see any return.  Yes, we who are so focused on credit counseling and building financial stability, are all together in a lottery pool.

And WE’RE OK WITH THAT! Read the rest of this entry »


Better Together in Brookings

January 10, 2018

Pat and Sue are a great Better Together match. Click on the video above to watch their story!

Better Together, a program of Lutheran Social Services designed to improve quality of life activities for older adults, has expanded to Brookings!

The program started in Sioux Falls in January 2015 in collaboration with the Sioux Empire United Way. In early 2017, LSS contracted with a consulting firm to look at opportunities to expand the program beyond Sioux Falls. Brookings was the community identified through this process as being the most capable and ready for Better Together.

To help carry out the program in Brookings, LSS has partnered with the Volunteer Service Bank. This organization, embarking on its 25th year of service will assist with local coordination and will help both volunteers and seniors get started.

In the program, trained volunteers will be matched with an older adult based on similar interests and schedule. Volunteer and older adult matches will spend four hours per month together going on outings, talking, pursuing hobbies, and other relationship-building activities.

With nearly half of people aged 65 and older in South Dakota living alone, there is need to use volunteers to help maintain or reestablish a connection to their community.

If you are interested in volunteering for the program in Brookings, apply here. If you know of an older adult who would benefit from this service, please let them know to call us at 444-7801 or complete an intake application.

Post by Michelle Madsen


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