What a Year!

Report cards have been sent, pools are full of young swimmers and the once colorful bulletin boards in schools are now bare. Before we pack the 2015-16 school year away, we wanted to share the good that happened between mentors and students.

And we are happy. Yes, there were a few failed classes, a few matches that did not click just right, and the reality of 250 students in our community going the school year without the mentor they so wanted and needed. But today, we want to highlight all that was done to move in the right direction.

First, mentors represent over 1,200 people in Sioux Falls who want to bring out the best in others without expecting anything in return. They are there to simply say I see you. And after the tragedy in Orlando, we know how important it is for young people to feel valued, safe and that they matter in their community. And having 1,200 people in Sioux Falls make that commitment is, as David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR told us last year, “rare air.”

The connections that mentors and students made are pretty special too. In our year-end survey, 93% of volunteers said they made a strong connection with their student. Mentors are already looking towards a stronger connection with their student. Over 90% of mentors are excited about mentoring next year.

The counselors that we work with, the ones who see mentoring played out each and every day, are loving what mentors are doing with students. 98% of counselors said that the effectiveness, the need and impact on students was very important at their school.

To end, here are a few quotes from mentors and school counselors.

It is a high point in the week for the student. It helps build their sense of self as a worthwhile and lovable person. – School Counselor

I am so glad that I got involved with LSS. I cannot wait until next year to continue mentoring. – Mentor

Our mentors are the best. They provide a consistent, caring relationship for students who need an adult in their life that they can trust, rely on, and talk to. – School Counselor

Every time I meet with my mentee, the smile he has on his face, which immediately puts a smile on my face…priceless! – Mentor

Our students love receiving attention from a trusted adult. It is such a blessing for the students to have someone they can talk to and share their thoughts and feelings. The consistency of weekly visits leads to student academic growth and behavioral improvement! – School Counselor

Mentoring is a great way to gain perspective. It’s good reminder that you never know what people around you are going through and a little extra kindness and support can go a long way. – Mentor

You do a great job of communicating with us and supporting our mentors! Thank you for all your hard work! – School Counselor

The mentoring program is fantastic! Please, never stop making positive impacts on these children’s lives. They may or may not know it, but they need you.- Mentor


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