Mentors make a difference. Studies show that students who have a mentor tend to do better in school and have higher graduation rates. Mentors see talents and gifts sometimes hidden to a student and help to bring them out. This extra adult friend is often the boost in self-confidence a child needs.

Our Children Count Mentor Program connects staff and students throughout the organization – administrators, teachers, counselors, donor care staff – all are welcome to apply. For our students, the connection is one more person who they know is there for them. Staff receive training and are matched with students who have similar interests such as reading, sports, crafts or music. There is no magic formula, rather mentoring means being a positive influence in the life of a child. It requires dedication and patience.

Students are referred to the program by any staff person who feels the student needs more one-on-one contact with an adult or doesn’t have as many opportunities to see their family or to benefit from an engaged adult in their lives.

The mentor committee hosts several events throughout the year, such as roller skating, trips to the corn maze and bowling. Also, mentors are encouraged to spend two to six hours per month individually with their matches. Examples of activities mentors and matches enjoy are going out to eat, attending sporting events, going for walks and doing crafts.

What do mentors say about the experience?

  • “You don’t have to be an expert you just have to be there!”   
  • “As a mentor, I enjoy the time I spend getting to know a student on a one-on-one level. I don’t work with the students daily, so the interactions are so enjoyable.”
  • “Mentoring has been a very rewarding and fulfilling experience. It is a great way to connect with the student/s outside of the school and the home. I have truly enjoyed my years as a mentor.”
  • “To mentor a child is to be there for them through the good times and the not so good times, lending an ear, cracking a joke, having fun. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but you do need to listen carefully and let the children be themselves around you.”