LSS Mentoring Services USucceed program matches high school students with a mentor with the goal of meeting throughout the students high school career. Together, matches meet at school or in the community and participate in all kinds of fun on their own! Once a month, LSS invites all USucceed matches to a planned event for the entire group. LSS coordinates service projects, community activities and more for this group. Here are five examples of what you can do as a USucceed mentor!
Many students in USucceed may have not had the opportunity to be on a college campus or know people who attend college. Going off the motto of “What they see is what they’ll be” LSS aims to expose kids to college and career opportunities they might otherwise not get to see everyday. This falls, we invited matches to Augustana, where we had dinner in the dining hall (the chocolate covered strawberries were a hit!). We listened to current students talk about college and the activities they were involved in (one was even a mentor for LSS!). At dusk, the Twilight Tour of the campus began and we were able to walk through several departments as well as the dorms and Stewart Center. The night ended with a glow-in-the-dark T-shirt and some hot apple cider.
Kids say they want to be a doctor, but not always are aware of the commitment it takes and the myriad of other healthcare careers available. We were able to take matches to Sanford Hospital to learn about just that. After hearing from several different employees including a flight nurse and helicopter pilot, we broke into groups to take a tour of the emergency room, the laboratory and the labor and delivery ward. Students learned about several different types of careers and went home with information about ways to start their career path into healthcare.
Budgeting is a skill that is hard to grasp and if you mess up, can get you into trouble pretty quickly. USucceed matches were able to take advantage of a budgeting class taught the LSS Center for Financial Resources. Identify theft, hidden costs that teens (and likely some adults) are not aware of and more were covered during this very informative presentation.
FUN and Relationship Building
While all of the events are fun, sometimes we set out with having fun as the sole agenda. Kids have to grow up quickly and take on a lot of responsibility, so it is important to remind them that they are still in high school. We were able to visit the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center and catch the Sioux Falls Stampede play. Most of the group had never been to the PREMIER Center and many were able to partake in their first hockey game.
Each year, LSS coordinates a holiday party for USucceed matches. They had dinner and participated in activities like decorating cookies and making ornaments. They also were able to make fleece blankets to donate to LSS Foster Care Services and festive hand-made cards for the South Dakota Red Cross chapter to distribute to local soldiers.
So, does that sound like hard work? Could you find four hours a month to meet with a high school student? Over 100 high school students have a mentor through LSS and there are over 40 students in the Sioux Falls area who want or need a mentor. Please help us out by applying today.
Post by Michelle Madsen & Brandi Umberger