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.

“Who Mentored You?” by Kim Baxter

Earlier in the month, we featured a guest post by one of our board members. And today we will do it again. I don’t think we can emphasize enough how fortunate we are to have a supportive and involved board of directors. Kim Baxter has been an integral member of the TeamMates Board of Directors and recently was recognized at our Annual Partnership Meeting last July. He has an awesome story to share about one of his mentors.

“Since I have had so many mentors in my life, it is difficult to single out just one.  But there is a person who particularly stands out as having a significant impact on my life, even though I got to spend very little time with him.

The summer after my 8th grade year, I was invited by one of my best friends to accompany him and his mother to visit my friend’s older brother in San Diego.  We spent about one week visiting his brother Ronnie and his wife.  Ronnie was a graduate of Annapolis Naval Academy and was serving as an officer at the naval base on Coronado Island, just off the coast from San Diego.  While we were there, Ronnie spent quite a bit of time with me and his younger brother Larry.  He even let us try our hand in a flight simulator, which was just about the coolest thing I had ever gotten a chance to do!

In that short week we spent there, I came to regard Ronnie as someone I could look up to, like a big brother.  He took a special interest in me and before we left for home, he asked me a question that forever changed my perception of myself.  He asked me if I had ever considered applying to the Naval Academy!  He told me that he thought I had what it took to be accepted and to eventually become a naval officer like himself.  I was shocked to hear this from him!  Until that time, my grades had been pretty average and I didn’t think of myself as having the capacity to achieve great things, academically or otherwise.  But in a flash, Ronnie made me feel like I truly did have the potential to do things in life that I would have never before imagined.  And although I never did end up applying to the Naval Academy, I elevated my goals and expectations for myself.  I started getting better grades, headed off to college to earn my undergrad degree at UNL and went on to graduate with honors with my doctorate degree from the Southern California College of Optometry.

And yes, I did have two fine parents who also believed in me and supported me.  But I just needed this affirmation from someone else to really make me believe in myself.

What a difference Ronnie made in my life!  And it took so little time.  All that mattered was that he took an interest in me as a person and made me feel that I had value.  And that, I believe, is what mentoring is all about.”

National Thank Your Mentor Day

Tomorrow is the next big event during National Mentoring Month – Thank Your Mentor Day! We at the TeamMates Central Office are grateful each and every day for the mentors who allow our program to happen and serve students in our communities each week.

National Mentoring Month is also a great time to work with your mentee on thanking the others in your community who are hard at work to ensure mentoring happens. These people would include the chapter coordinator, building coordinator, board members, donors, and anyone else who allows TeamMates to work. It truly does take a TEAM to keep the program running. Here are some resources to reference on writing thank you notes:

Really all you need is a pen, piece of paper, and some thoughtful words. This is the perfect way to instill a mindset of gratitude in your mentee.

Recap of Social Media Day

We would like to thank our mentors and supporters who participated in “I am a Mentor” Social Media Day. The day was a HUGE success. The badge was pinned, used on Facebook and on Twitter. We had our most views ever on the blog, thanks in large part to Chief Casady. We also had many interactions via Facebook and Twitter. Here are some highlights of the conversations:

  • “I am a Mentor. Love it and would encourage anyone who has a little time to get the info and become a mentor!!!”
  • “I am grateful for the privilege to spend time making a positive impact on the life of a youth. Every moment invested in the life of a youth has a life changing impact on at least two people…you and the one you mentor! It is so worth it!!!”
  • “I’m proud to be a TeamMates mentor and believe that each youth benefits from one more caring adult. Today I thank the mentors that I have had in my life. It is with pride that I pass it on to the next generation. I hope you consider becoming a TeamMates Mentor!”
  • “One of my favorite parts of being a mentor is getting a glimpse into the life a a teenage girl! I raised two sons, so this is a new (eye-opening!)experience for me…and I enjoy it!”
  • “I love to see my girls face when she sees me! Priceless!”
  • “I used to be a classroom teacher, so being able to spend time with a student ONE ON ONE is pure joy!”
  • “Spending time with my current TeamMate and the new “more adult” relationship I have with my previous Mentee.”
  • “It’s been great watching my mentee go from a shy kid who rarely looked you in the eye to a confident, outgoing young man. Been a great experience and I look forward to the next 4 years as he transistions to high school and beyond.”
  • “I like the smile when she sees me each week.”
  • “knowing that sometimes spending time together is an important event in her day.”
  • “Seeing that big smile when i see my mentee coming down the hall!”
  • “How excited my mentees get when they see me!”
  • “Being able to see the growth and drive of my mentee. She is absolutely a remarkable young woman! So luck to have such a great person to mentor!”
  • “So many things! A few to mention are knowing she looks forward to our visits and her teacher and mom say how much she enjoys our time. Also when she tells me things because she knows she can trust me. And seeing what a nice girl she is becoming.”
  • “I’m going to repeat this, the smile he has on his face when I show up…enjoy eating lunch w him & visiting.”

I think we can summarize all of this with a huge smile. Thank you for everything you do for the students of your community.

Who Mentored You?

At TeamMates, we have amazing and supportive individuals serving as board of director members. One of these members is Tom Casady. He was the former police chief of Lincoln, NE and now serves as the Public Safety Director. He has graciously shared the story of his mentor for today’s post.

During the month of January, it is important to thank whoever in your life has served as a mentor to you. While the national “Thank Your Mentor” day isn’t until January 17th, we won’t tell anyone if you thank them today. And if you are looking for a good blog to follow, check out From the Director’s Desk, the blog written by Public Safety Director Casady.

Here is the story of Tom Casady’s Mentor:

Casady-Blog-Pic“My first employer, Pete Wagner, was a tremendous mentor for me. Pete hired me when I was 15 to work in his small grocery store. It was my first job, and I learned the grocery business from soup to nuts: stocking, checking, ordering, produce, bookkeeping, inventory, even a little meat cutting. It was more than just the job skills, though, as Pete taught me to be on time, to keep commitments, and to work as long as was needed to get the job done. Through his example, he taught me how to treat customers, salesmen, suppliers, delivery drivers, and everyone else in a courteous, friendly way, how to resolve disagreements, and how to cultivate good relationships with people from all walks of life, all economic strata, and other nationalities and races in the diverse neighborhood around his little grocery.

Later, when I was a struggling college student with tuition bills, he essentially fed me at his expense for almost five years. Under the guise of keeping him company, he would pick me up in the morning for breakfast at a nearby cafe and he would grab a loaf of bread and a few slices of lunch meat for a stack of sandwiches for us at lunchtime. He flexed my schedule so I could get to campus and back on my Schwinn Varsity, and made sure I had enough work hours to get the paycheck I desperately needed nonetheless. He modeled an incredible work ethic and a great way of treating people for me at a critical time in my life. His qualities are an important part of who I am today, and why I have been successful in my own career and relationships.

Casady-Blog-Pic-2Pete was far more than a good boss, though. He also helped me learn many other life skills. He taught me to drive a stick shift and how to score bowling; he helped me find my first apartment, buy my first car, open my first checking account, purchase my first insurance policy, and take out my first loan. When I moved on to career in policing years later, Pete continued to be a lifelong friend, to whom I often turned for advice and support at life’s most critical moments.

Oh, he also left me with one other mighty good thing: his daughter. We were married 40 years ago.”

“I Am a Mentor” Social Media Day – Thursday

Hopefully you are aware by now that January is National Mentoring Month. The first major awareness event is this Thursday, January 10th. “I Am a Mentor” Social Media day is an opportunity to inform and inspire your friends, family, and followers about the importance of mentoring and how they can make a difference in the life of a child.

We want to make this day simple for you. Here are a few ideas to declare why mentoring is personally important to you! Please remember these tips when you are posting on social media, especially to not post any identifying information about your mentee.

WebSave this image or click to download and use it in the following ways:
– as your Facebook profile picture
– as your Twitter profile picture
– Pin this image and encourage your friends and fellow mentors to re-pin
– Instagram this picture

Facebook Status Samples (just copy and paste)

  • Did you know I am a mentor with @TeamMates Mentoring Program? Being a mentor is rewarding and has helped me to [have fun, make a difference, learn new things, gain a better understanding of other backgrounds, etc.]. In the time it takes to watch one TV show a week, you can make a difference in a young person’s life and impact an entire community. Become a TeamMates mentor today http://teammates.org/about-mentoring/become-a-mentor-with-teammates/
  • People who become mentors often find they get as much, if not more, out of the relationship as their mentee does. Find out how by becoming a mentor yourself. Visit http://teammates.org/about-mentoring/become-a-mentor-with-teammates for more information.
  • Youth in our community are looking for a mentor. What does it take to make a difference in their lives? As little as one hour a week. Visit http://teammates.org/about-mentoring/become-a-mentor-with-teammates for more information on how you can be the difference in a young person’s life and impact an entire community.
  • I am proud to say I am a mentor with @TeamMates Mentoring Program

Twitter Post Ideas (just copy and paste)

  • I am proud to say I am a mentor with @TeamMates1Hour. Join me today – bit.ly/13dNzCm.
  • Do you want to have an impact on a young person’s life? Become a @TeamMates1Hour mentor today – bit.ly/13dNzCm.
  • The highlight of my week is mentoring with @TeamMates1Hour. I am proud to help transform my community.

Find TeamMates on Social Media

January is National Mentoring Month!

WebThe holidays are drawing to a close as is 2012. January ushers in the new year of 2013 and begins our celebration of National Mentoring Month. January 2013 will mark the 12th anniversary of National Mentoring Month. We like to take the opportunity during January to thank our mentors and supporters for the work they do to help a student reach their full potential.

A few days to mark on your calendar:

  • January 10: “I am a Mentor” Social Media day. Right click and save the above picture to use as your profile picture on Facebook, Twitter, etc and tell your friends and followers that you are proud to be a TeamMates mentor.
  • January 17: National Thank Your Mentor Day. We will be thanking our TeamMates mentors on this day and feel free to thank any mentor you have had throughout your life. Often, people are unaware of the impact they have had on someone’s life.

Check out what Colin Powell has to say about National Mentoring Month 2013!