Back in May, LSS asked mentors where they went to college. We found out that there are over 50 University of South Dakota alums who make a difference through mentoring! We talked with one to get his perspective on mentoring and its importance.
Kent Hartsuiker became a mentor not too long after graduating. He was a new employee at First PREMIER Bank/PREMIER Bankcard and took the leap and has not looked back. Why did he get involved? His answer is simple and true, “Kids are our future,” said Kent. “We can all look back and recognize the mentors we had in our own lives and the difference they made for us.”
Kent has invested in mentoring for the long term and has been through many stages of development with his mentee, who will be a junior in high school this fall. “When we started eight year ago, he was learning how to read and now he is learning how to drive. It’s unbelievable to look back and see all the changes.”
In addition to mentoring, Kent serves on the LSS Foundation Board, is active in various leadership roles at his church, delivers Meals on Wheels and has volunteered with Special Olympics. He enjoys being part of making Sioux Falls even better by being an active volunteer, but especially enjoys mentoring because it has such a big impact on one person. “LSS has statistics that show mentoring improves grades, behavior and so many good things that come from mentoring. I have seen that with my student.”
And since his student is in high school, Kent says they have talked about the future and college. “He wants to go,” said Kent. “He now has a passion for learning, which has come a long way since we started. He knows the importance of a college education.” And while he’s not going to push him into one direction, they have definitely talked about USD and the great foundation it gave Kent.