A Bench and Brookings

In the LSS USucceed Mentor Program, matches are made up with high school students2018-08-20 12.29.59 and volunteers who commit to that student throughout their high school career. In this program, matches can meet at school or outside of school, including meetings during the summer. The purpose of this is to allow matches to engage in meaningful experiences at a critical time in a students life. Mentors can expose students to opportunities they otherwise might not have. In a recent survey of USucceed students, nearly 70% responded that they experienced something new with their mentor in the past year. This might be something as simple as eating at a restaurant. Nevertheless, USucceed mentors are by and large showing their student a new perspective.

2018-07-27 11.12.47This summer, two matches shared experiences with their students that they were incredibly proud about.

Mentor Bret Halle and his student Cade, a junior at Roosevelt, spent time refurbishing benches. Bret said, “Our benches rehab project went very well.  We both really enjoyed making two old benches look new.” He went on to say that Cade’s dad was excited to have like new benches and thought they looked “absolutely fantastic” and was thrilled his son was able to do this project. The match spent nearly 20 hours completing the project over the course of three weeks. While USucceed matches are asked to spend four hour together each month, Bret said that this was “well worth the time.” Bret also said it was a great experience for BOTH of them and Cade really enjoyed the process.

Next, they plan to refinish a picnic table! Check out the collage below to see their progress!


Last year, we featured Everyday Heroes match Pat Tiefenthaler and Egide as they met at Whittier Middle School. Last spring, the match joined USucceed and have enjoyed spending more time together through the summer and this school year as Egide entered his freshman year. Recently, Pat asked Egide to join him at an SDSU football game. Egide had a great time and was able to go on the field before the game and take a photo with the Jackrabbit mascot!


Just look at the smiles on Cade and Egide! They are exactly what LSS and the Sioux Empire United Way hoped for when initiating this program in 2011.  There are students in our community who need chances and experiences such as this to help them succeed in school and life.

Currently, there are high school students waiting for a mentor. If you are interested in volunteering to be a USucceed mentor, please contact LSS Mentoring Services at Mentoring@LssSD.org or 444-7802. Applications are available here.

Post by Michelle Madsen



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