When LSS expanded mentoring services to all school districts in Lincoln and Minnehaha counties, Deb Fox was one of the first to volunteer. She was matched with Bailey, a 4th grader at the now closed Chancellor Elementary. Bailey will be in 9th grade this August and the two plan to continue meeting each week until Bailey graduates.
Throughout the course of their relationship, Bailey has transferred schools a few times. After Chancellor closed, she attended school in Lennox. Then she attended West Central and now is enrolled at Tea Area. Deb has continued to meet with her and has been a steady presence throughout school transfers.
Deb and Bailey have a great bond and have done several craft projects. They have made ten fleece blankets together and give them as presents. The activity started as a way to have something to do while they talked and it has continued.
As for what they like best, Deb said it is the conversations and listening to Bailey. Bailey said, “Deb is always happy. She is never in a bad mood. Ever.” Deb’s sunny disposition is probably why Bailey said the biggest value in having a mentor is “building self esteem.”
Despite a changing schulde as an RN, Deb has made mentoring a priority each week. She is truly a volunteer who is there for the giving and does not expect anything in return. “Being part of someone else’s life helps me continue to grow,” Deb said.
Through federal funding, LSS was able to find mentors like Deb to volunteer at schools outside of the Sioux Falls School District. As this initial funding expires this year, we greatly appreciate the commitment from the Sioux Empire United Way that ensures mentoring continues in all area school districts!