TeamMates Mentoring Program began in 1991 with the vision of University of Nebraska Head Football Coach Tom Osborne and his wife Nancy. Coach Osborne felt that the athletes in his program could make an impact on the middle school students, and twenty-two football players began meeting with middle school students in the Lincoln Public Schools. Of the 22 original mentees, 21 went on to graduate from high school while one left school early to pursue a successful Motocross career. Eighteen of the original mentees also obtained some form of post-secondary education.
The TeamMates Mentoring Program was formalized as a statewide program in 1998 with 12 chapters and 441 mentor/mentee matches. Since then, TeamMates has steadily grown to include over 150 chapters and currently serves more than 8,400 youth through partnerships with local school districts. TeamMates now has chapters throughout Nebraska and Iowa and recently opened its first chapters in Kansas and Wyoming.
The Currens Story
Reverend James Currens was a mentor to Tom Osborne’s grandfather. In the video below, Tom Osborne tells about the impact Currens had on his family and the ripple effect it began.