It’s all about the team!

As we continue to grow our program one of our most exciting developments still remains our expansion efforts into Iowa.  Since we began our expansion into Iowa in 2008 we have since watched 13 chapters expand and grow into great programs delivering effectively on our mission – to inspire kids to reach their full potential through mentoring.  This week, we celebrate a great highlight in the Iowa League of Cities state wide publication Citysccape.

In the article by Mickey Shields titled It’s all about the team, Shields talks about the importance of mentoring on the success of a community and how leaders are not made over night, rather everyone needs a little guidance to get to where they want to be.  Highlighting our Council Bluffs chapter with 150 mentor-mentee matches, Mayor Hanafan of Council Bluffs speaks up about his experience.

Mayor Hanafan has been mentoring for 6 years through the TeamMates Mentoring Program.  Hanafan talks about how he was not sure how long the relationship would last at first, but now walks in to his office everyday with two pictures on his desk; one of him and his mentee the day they first met, and one on the day his mentee graduated high school.  In a highlighted quote, Mayor Tom Hanafan said that the mentoring experience has been a fresh air as that one hour each week has given him a chance to step away from the pressures at city hall and spend some time with his mentee.  Hanafan says it right when talking about public officials and community leaders stepping up to the plate to mentor.  “There are a lot of kids out there that need a little bit of help.  Leaders need to be leaders.”

We are so grateful for public officials such as Mayor Hanafan leading our expansion path through Iowa.  Today, we have 13 chapters established in Iowa:  A-H-S-T, Boyer Valley, Council Bluffs, Denison, Harlan, Lewis Central, Missouri Valley, Nishnabotna, Sidney, Spencer, Storm Lake, Waterloo, and Woodbine.

For the full article click here.

Partnership 2013 Keynote – Dr. Shane Lopez

We are now one week out from Partnership 2013 and we’re all gearing up here in the TeamMates Mentoring Program office. We are beyond excited to have Dr. Shane Lopez this year as our Keynote speaker:

Shane J. Lopez, Ph.D., author of Making Hope Happen, is the world’s leading researcher on hope. His mission is to teach people that investing in their future pays off today. Dr. Lopez is also one of the most vocal advocates of the psychological reform of America’s education system. He helps schools function less like impersonal factories and more like dynamic human development centers that enable students to achieve the meaningful futures they say they really want, including a good job and a happy family.

Dr. Lopez researches the links between hope, strengths development, academic success, and overall wellbeing and collaborates with scholars around the world on these issues. He specializes in hope and strengths enhancement for students from preschool through college graduation, advocating a whole-school strengths model that also builds the strengths expertise of educators, parents, and youth development organizations. He is coauthor of the statistical reports for the Clifton StrengthsFinder and the Clifton Youth StrengthsExplorer. To learn more about Dr. Lopez visit the Gallup website.

Dr. Lopez will be speaking on his recently released book, Making Hope Happen: Creating the Future You Want for Yourself and Others. Stick around after his keynote for an opportunity to buy Dr. Lopez’s book from a local Lincoln Bookstore, Indigo Bridge Books, and get it signed by the Hope expert himself. 20% of book sales will be donated to the TeamMates Mentoring Program courtesy of Indigo Bridge Books. Can’t make it to Partnership? Call Indigo Bridge Books at 402-477-7770 and order via telephone prior to July 23rd and a portion of the proceeds will still come back to TeamMates!

It is not too late to sign up!! Registration for Partnership will remain open until this Wednesday, July 17th.

Benefits of Serving as a Mentor

Benefits of Serving as a Mentor

A blog located on The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring recently posted how a new study highlights the benefits of serving as a mentor. We are constantly chatting about how our students are affected by mentoring – improvement in grades, attendance, behavior, sense of hope, engagement well-being and so much more, but it is rare that we take a minute to look at how our mentors are affected in an equally positive manor. The Journal of Vocational Behvior shows the career benefits associated with mentoring for mentors. We hope you take the time to read the linked article and gain these takeaway points:

  • Individuals who served as mentors reported greater job satisfaction.
  • Individuals who served as mentors reported a greater commitment to the organization.
  • Individuals who served as mentors reported having higher quality relationships within the workplace which were associated with even greater benefits.
  • Individuals who served as mentors had greater career success and better job performance.

While this study was done specifically observing mentoring relationships within the workplace, the findings from this study also have direct implications for youth mentoring as well. Specifically the need for more direct consideration of how the mentors do benefit from the relationship and collection of mentor outcomes that could provide a tool for mentoring programs across the nation trying to convey what we all know so well – that mentors are just as affected by the relationship as the kids, maybe more.

Are you a mentor that has seen personal growth or benefits as a result of their mentoring relationship? If so, share your story below!

Peace First Prize

peace-first-prize.jpgWe would like to share with you an opportunity for mentors to help their mentees apply for an award – the Peace First Prize, which is the chance to celebrate the powerful contributions of peacemakers.

Here is more information. Deadline for entry is April 12, 2013.

About the Prize:

Are you a young person who’s taken action to make your school or community more peaceful?

Do you know a young person who’s taken personal risks to stand up for their beliefs? Who’s rallied others to make a difference?

The Peace First Prize is your chance to celebrate the powerful contributions of peacemakers. The Prize will recognize young people between the ages of 8-22 for their compassion, courage and ability to create collaborative change. Through a two-year $50,000 Peace First Fellowship we will invest in their leadership as peacemakers and share their stories with the nation.

To nominate someone you know, or apply yourself…


NMM Chapter Happenings, Part 4

Time for our last wrap up post of National Mentoring Month Happenings. Did you miss any of the earlier posts? Check them out – Part One, Part Two, or Part Three.

Mo-Valley-thank-youMissouri Valley, Iowa
In addition to other recognition activities, Missouri Valley had this tribute to their mentors on the wall at the school. “Our Mentors Rock!”

Holdrege, Nebraska
The Holdrege chapter placed a thank you in the newspaper and handed out candy bars with different themed messages. The message of “You are a breath of fresh air to your mentee in the TeamMates program” accompanied Certs Breath Mints, “We are nuts about you as one of our TeamMates mentors!” accompanied peanuts, and “Thank you for your faithfulness with TeamMates. You’re worth more than a 100 Grand.” along with a 100 Grand candy bar. Each mentor also received a key chain.

Cozad, Nebraska
Mentors were honored at the home basketball game versus Gothenburg. Each mentor received a button that says “I mentor, what’s your superpower?”. They also were sent a thank you and personal certificates.

Scottsbluff County, Nebraska
The chapter hosted a mentor meet and greet at the newly built elementary school in Gering. There was discussion between the mentors and tours of the school. Mentors, TeamMates Board members, school counselors, and administrators were all invited to the celebration of a new school and mentoring.

Garden County, Nebraska
Mentors received appreciation in the forms of an email from the coordinator, candy bar with a note, kinds words from their mentees, and an ad in the local paper.

Minden, Nebraska
The Minden chapter hosted a recognition at a basketball game where the mentors received a standing ovation. There was a display booth at the basketball game with pictures of TeamMates events and the names of mentors. Mentors were given a shirt at the game and had a coffee and cookie reception after. A thank you ad was placed in the newspaper along with an article. Mentees each wrote a letter to their mentor and a banquet was held to honor mentors and spouses at the local Country Club.

We are proud of the time and effort our coordinators have put into honoring the mentors of their chapter! Thank you.

NMM Chapter Happenings, Part Three

It is now the second of February and chapters have mostly wrapped up recognizing their mentors and celebrating their matches, but we wanted to ensure the chapters and their coordinators were also getting recgonition. Last week we posted the Part One of our summary of National Mentoring Month Events and this week we posted Part Two.

Fort Calhoun, Nebraska
This is Fort Calhoun’s first year of being a chapter. They honored their mentors by purchasing new games for the game boxes at school to ensure they were prepared to mentor. Each mentor was also sent an email to thank them for their participation.

Box Butte County, Nebraska
National Mentoring Month received a lot of press during the month of January in our Box Butte County chapter. The Mayor signed the NMM Proclamation, the newspaper ran two feature articles, the radio conducted a mentor interview, and interviewed Tom Osborne. Weekly goodies were placed at the school for the mentors and a recognition night was held on January 25. To top it all off, students wrote their mentor thank you notes!

Elwood, Nebraska
Matches were honored at a school basketball game on January 28

Hyannis, Nebraska
Candy bars were attached to thank you cards and kids wrote notes such as “you’re so sweet to be my mentor”. A recognition event was held at a basketball game.

Sidney, Nebraska
A mentor appreciation and recognition banquet complete with candlelight, decor, and awards for all mentor and board members was held in the middle of the month. Regional Coordinator, Annette Woodhead, spoke at the event to honor mentors.

Blair, Nebraska
During January, students honored their mentors with thank you notes. Articles about mentoring ran in the Blair Enterprise. One article featured a Blair mentor/mentee pair, and the other was about retirement opportunities, including mentoring. The article included Arlington, Ft. Calhoun and Blair TeamMates. They placed 15-20 “Mentoring Works” posters around the community with TeamMates of Blair recruitment information. There was an ad in the Blair paper thanking all mentors by name and the businesses that make their mentoring possible. They also placed an announcement this month in local church bulletins asking for more mentors.

mentor-cupsMullen, Nebraska
All mentors received insulated glasses full of 100 Grand candy bars with a note taped to the outside of the glass stating “You are worth a 100 Grand”. National Mentoring Month celebrations will be continued into March with a mentor meeting and nachos! The meeting will serve to thank mentors for all that they do, ensure that all questions are answered, and touch base on activities and changes within TeamMates.

Bridgeport, Nebraska
Bridgeport hosted a meet and greet night on January 15th. They will be attending a Western Nebraska Community College Basketball game on February 8th.

Stay tuned – we will have one more National Mentoring Month Wrap-up post!

NMM Chapter Happenings, Part 2

January is almost over, but chapters are still in full swing, recognizing their mentors and celebrating their matches. Last week we posted the Part One of our summary of National Mentoring Month Events.

District #29, Nebraska
District #29 was very busy during January – mentees wrote thank you cards to be mailed to their mentors and the coordinators also wrote thank you notes to mentors. On January 22nd, a recognition night was held at the girls basketball game – free popcorn, pop, and admittance tot he game was given to mentor and mentees. On January 27th, they hosted their Annual TeamMates Pancake Feed. Many advertisements also ran about TeamMates – in the local newspaper, ads on the movie screens, on local radio stations, on the ‘Bobcat Buzz’, and TeamMates Facts were given on the radio by high school mentees.

Arlington, Nebraska
Mentors were honored during a basketball game and were given free admittance and snacks. Mentors also received a gift certificate for burgers and fries at the Veteran’s Club.

Anselmo/Merna, Nebraska
On January 5, mentors and mentees attended a Husker Women’s Basketball game in Lincoln. Mentors and mentees worked together to run the concessions stands at a fundraiser at the home basketball games. Matches were also recognized in front of the crowd before the start of a women’s varsity basketball game. And a mentor recognition luncheon was held in the middle of the month where mentees presented their mentors with a thank you note and matches played bean bag toss together in the gym.

Cambridge, Nebraska
Cambridge hosted a taco/nacho bowling party on Tuesday, January 15th. All of the mentees were able to attend with transportation provided by their parents. Halfway through the evening, certificates were awarded to each mentor with an additional award given to those in the 24 or more club. The local paper was there to capture the fun had by all 40 bowlers!!

Kearney, Nebraska is hosting a mentor social with food and activities.

North Platte, Nebraska
North Platte hosted their annual thank you dinner for mentors and mentees which featured spaghettie and entertainment – over 100 people attended including the Superintendent of the North Platte Public Schools who serves as a mentor along with his wive. The newspaper featured “Thank You” notes along with information on the benefits of mentoring.

Valentine, Nebraska gave 100 Grand candy bars to each of their mentors to show appreciation.

Medicine Valley, Nebraska
Mentors in Medicine Valley each received a thank you note along with a highlighter along with the message “You ‘Highlight’ your mentees day!” Bright sings were posted around the school and community that said “Thank You – TeamMates Mentors” An ad was also posted in the newspaper. On January 31, they will be hosting TeamMates Appreciation night at the High School Basketball games. This will coincide with the Lasagna Supper fundraiser and silent auction. At halftime of the boys game, the current matches will be recognized.

Hershey, Nebraska
Hershey hosted a mentor recognition at a basketball game, mentors were admitted free to the game and asked to stand while a short announcement was read. A bake sale was held during the game as a fundraiser along with a silent auction. A video was shown on a wall in the commons area during the evening. Mentees wrote a thank you postcard to their mentors and a monthly morning coffee occurred.

Arnold, Nebraska
Mentors and mentees were recognized at a home basketball game and received a small gift during half time. A big time supporter and longtime mentor was honored and thanked for his support.

NMM Chapter Happenings, Part 1

January has been full of activities in all of our chapters! We wanted to highlight the hard work our chapters have put into recognizing mentors and celebrating National Mentoring Month. Look forward to more posts.

Council Bluffs, Iowa – Celebrating 5 years!
TeamMates is celebrating its fifth year in the Council Bluffs Community School District. The chapter has 152 matches in 17 schools. The chapter was featured in the local newspaper, The Daily Nonpariel. The article quoted the Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan and his experience with mentoring. “I’m not a teacher, a disciplinarian or a parent. I’m just someone who sits down and gives him the opportunity to just converse,” he said. “I probably learn as much about a (teenager) in today’s world as he learns about me. It’s a good program and really benefits the school system.” Congratulations Council Bluffs!

Sutherland, Nebraska
Matches were recognized at a basketball game! They received free admission, popcorn, and drinks. Mentees wrote thank you letters to their mentors and mailed them to celebrate National Thank Your Mentor Day. DeMoine Adams also made a visit during the month and presented on mentoring. What a busy month!

Lexington, Maywood, McCook, Ogallala
All of these chapter coordinators worked with their mentees to write thank you cards for their mentors.

Gothenburg, Nebraska
An ad was placed in the newspaper to thank mentors. Candy bars were given out at meeting locations and the mentors were sent a $5 Runza gift certificate for the month of January. These mentors were certainly given first class treatment!

Chadron, Nebraska
Mentors are being celebrated at a Chadron State College basketball game in January. Mentors will be introduced at half time of the women’s game and mentees and one adult will get in free. Mentors will be receiving thank you notes from the TeamMates advisory committee and a free drink card from the Bean Broker.

Kimball, Nebraska
A thank you ad will be placed in the local newspaper with the mentor names featured. Mentors will be honored at half-time of a girls’ basketball game. Mentors will get into the game free and they will be presented with a bag of goodies, a personal note, and a picture of their mentee. The recognition will be topped off with a large round of applause from the crowd!

Beatrice, Nebraska
A full page “thank you” and information page was placed in the newspaper. There was also an article on the front page and radio spots on the AM and FM channels. Thank you cards were also distributed to the mentors.

Lincoln, Nebraska
The Lincoln chapter hosted their Annual Recognition Dinner on Thursday, January 24th in the Lincoln Station. The Huskers’ Associate Athletic Director of Diversity and Leadership Initiatives, Dr. Williams, was the keynote speaker. The evening included a dinner and awards ceremony to recognize the contributions of mentors and the exciting accomplishments of TeamMates students. The awards presentation included the Decade of Difference Awards, the Mentor Hall of Fame Awards and Student Achievement Awards.

During the month of January, the Arapahoe School Board was given a program update. The Arapahoe paper featured a quarter page ad with the names of all involved in the program. All mentors and board members received a thank you and information was posted on the local cable TV station.

TeamMates Highlighted

It has been a busy fall for TeamMates and we are grateful for the recognition we have received from various outlets throughout the county and wanted to highlight a few.

This is Nebraska (Big Red Anthem 2)
Big Red Anthem was released last year and recieved over 200,000 hits on YouTube! This year, Brown has produced Big Red Anthem 2. The video can be viewed on YouTube and the song can be purchased on iTunes. All proceeds go to TeamMates!

Bus 52
From their website: Bus 52 is a year long project devoted to reminding and reconnecting America to its roots of community, innovation and improvement. Every week, the team will film, upload and post videos and articles about people from every kind of circumstance confronting challenges in their community through innovative ways. The people and their stories, roughly one hundred in total, will be presented as a patchwork of American community innovation, and will serve to ignite the minds of those watching, further spurring their involvement in their own communities.

As Bus 52 traveled through Nebraska, they chose to highlight TeamMates. A profile of TeamMates is featured on the website and the video they produced is on YouTube.

TeamMates’ Chapter Updates

We have had many of our TeamMates Chapters featured in news lately and we wanted to give them an additional shout-out.

A TeamMates mentor in York tells about her experience as a mentor in the York News Times. Read the story here.

Another article in the York News Times about a dedicated board treasurer and mentor. Darcey has played an integral role on the board helping to secure funds to keep the program running and attending TeamMates events to learn the latest ideas.

Members of the McCook TeamMates Board of Directors were recently recognized for their service with TeamMates. One outgoing Board Member received a plaque to honor the 8 years he has served on the board. Read the entire story in the McCook Gazette.

A big congratulations to our Seward coordinator, Chad Denker, who was recognized as the Nebraska High School Principal of the year. The Seward Independent has the full story here.

Fort Calhoun
One of the newest TeamMates chapters is Fort Calhoun. The start of the chapter made the front page of the Washington County Newspaper.

Any other news to share? Leave us a comment and see your chapter featured next time!