February 25, 2015
Have you heard about the crisis in Tennessee recently? Things have been nearly shut down all over the place down there due to the unexpected. Because it is such a rare occurrence, they simply don’t know what to do with it or how to go about daily business when it happens. Are you ready? They got a little ice and then a whole inch of snow on top of it.
Yes, most of us from South Dakota will just laugh at the absurdity of shutting down over an inch of snow and ice. If we did that, we would have most of the winter as a vacation. In all fairness, we need to give those from the South a little bit of a break. They just don’t see that kind of weather very often. As such, they don’t have enough experience to really know how to deal with it. Read the rest of this entry »
February 23, 2015
When recruiting new mentors, some common questions we get asked are what do mentors do, how does the program work, etc. We often respond with the solid research that proves mentoring works, the outcomes LSS Mentoring Services reaches each year, the number of people who are mentoring and the number of kids waiting for their mentor.
In its simplest form, mentors “make kids happy,” according to Daytona, a 5th grader at Eugene Field Elementary. Daytona has been matched with her mentor Janet for the past five years. The two met when Daytona was a first grader, and the talkative girl was a bit quieter. At first, she thought that someone was paying Janet to come visit her. After Janet explained that she managed Breadsmith and mentoring had nothing to do with her job, the two developed a great bond.
“Mentoring lets you develop the best relationship you could ever have,” said Janet. “I know that mentoring is a service for kids, but it has been great for me. It reminds me of what is important. That people are important.”
Daytona likes talking to Janet. They talk about their pets. They also play board games and cards. Anything that makes Daytona laugh is Janet’s favorite thing to do each week.
For Daytona, the best thing about having a mentor is “knowing that someone always has your back and can help you.” And for Janet, the best part about mentoring is, “knowing you can make a difference. And it is just fun to be in a school each week!”
February 20, 2015
This week I watched the season finale of The Celebrity Apprentice (to be more correct, my wife was watching it and I happened to be around). In case you missed it, a large portion of the show was Donald Trump himself seated at the middle of a large boardroom table. On either side of The Donald were Donald Jr. and Ivanka, his kids. The Donald’s younger son Eric was in the crowd as well.
It was like watching a little Trump family reunion. You knew exactly who was a Trump. Not only do they all look alike, but they all looked like a million bucks. Probably rightfully so since each is worth well more than that. Having a professional athlete and model for a mother probably doesn’t hurt either. Read the rest of this entry »
February 19, 2015
LSS Mentoring Services seeks nominations for the 2015 Citibank Outstanding Mentor, the 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 16, 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 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 Wells Fargo (2014), Raven (2013) and Cimarron Label (2012).
Nominations are encouraged and may be submitted by the community at large. Self-nominations are accepted. Click here for the nomination form. All nominations are due by Friday, February 27. Materials may be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, via fax to 221-2404 or mailed to LSS Mentoring Services, 621 E Presentation Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57104.
For additional information on the nomination process, or to become a mentor, please call LSS Mentoring Services at 221-2403 or email email@example.com.
February 17, 2015
“I can farm.” It is the skill I most often hear mentioned in my Job Interview classes. The majority of these learners come from agricultural backgrounds and thanks to a $7000 grant from Xcel Energy to the Center for New Americans; these learners have been given the opportunity to attend a unique pre-employment class that draws on their background knowledge and farming experience. Xcel Energy’s grant is part of the company’s corporate giving Economic Sustainability focus area, promoting workforce development, workforce readiness, specific job skills training, job placement and job creation.
(From left to right) Laura Smith-Hill (Education Coordinator at CNA), Carol Hudson (ESL Instructor at CNA), Hari Chhetri (student in English for Gardening Class), Tim Jurgens (Director of CNA), Pabi Biswa (student in English for Gardening Class) and Eric Pauli (Xcel Energy Representative)
Xcel Energy’s grant recently funded “English for Gardening Class,” a pre-employment class that helped refugees learn English skills needed for entry-level jobs in local greenhouses or garden centers
I had the chance to interview some of the learners that attended the class Learners practiced English vocabulary for “annual,” “perennial,” “herb,” “root,” “shelf,” “planter,” and other relevant words for this industry along with gaining hands-on experience. “It was all very practical,” said one learner through the use of a translator. “They taught us how to fertilize and water…how to pull up plants properly.”
“Why did you like the class?” I asked. Many learners cited their previous work experience as farmers in their countries. One women shared, “In Bhutan, I had a kitchen garden…the same interest was here.” All agreed the class was helpful and interesting and were looking forward to applying for jobs in local greenhouses or garden centers in and around Sioux Falls.
The Center for New Americans would like to thank Xcel Energy on behalf of our clients for their financial support and partnership in the work of welcoming!
February 16, 2015
I am almost sure that I’ve met the President of the United States…the future President of the United States that is. I am almost positive that I’ve wiped the Presidential nose. I have hugged a brain surgeon, read to a teacher, given Cheerios to the person that will cure cancer and cheered on a Grammy winning artist. Speaking of artists, I’m very certain that I’ve calmed the tantrum of a future Oscar nominee.
On a day set aside to celebrate presidential history, I am thankful to be part of “team future.” Our country is one of rich history but I cannot wait to see what the future holds. I’m lucky enough to get a sneak peek. These kids are amazing!
Enjoying the Fun,
Heather DeWit, Director of Childcare and Education Services
Do you want to join the team? Click to learn more: http://www.lsssd.org/news_events/lssemployment.html