WAYNE – January is National Mentoring month and Wayne Teammates are looking to get the word out that they’re in need of mentors with the number of mentees always growing.
As of January, there are 59 active matches in Wayne Community Schools that is offered to third graders through high school seniors.
Mike Varley has been involved with the Wayne Teammates program for over 10 years being a mentor and a board member. Varley said if you interested in being a mentor, reach out to any of the Wayne Teammates board members or visit teammates.org.
“Through there you’ll put in your information,” said Varley. “You’ll put in that you want to be involved in the Wayne chapter. Then Shalee will get notified that somebody has volunteered to mentor. Then, yes, there is a process you have to go through.”
Teammates was started by Tom and Nancy Osborne in 1991 and are in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Wyoming with over 43,000 youth being matched with mentors.
Their goal is to have around 65 quality matches with the mentor to stay with the mentee all the way up to graduation.
All mentors are being accepted, but male mentors are needed to match with youth. As of the last board meeting, there are six males waiting for a match along with three females.
The mentor will meet with the mentee for between 30 – 60 minutes a week at either the elementary or Jr/Sr High School.
Mentees can be nominated by their parents, by teachers or nominate themselves.
Shalee Hoffman is the coordinator with Jill Walling being the board president.
“The board more or less kind of organizes the activities and does the fundraising for the program,” Varley added. “They’re pretty much hands-off as far as the matches go, we kind of let Shalee take care of that.”
Wayne Teammates look to hold between 2 – 4 activities each year with the mentors and mentees. So far this year, the group held a bowling party and will next visit the Fred G. Dale Planetarium at Wayne State College on Sunday, January 23. Another event includes movies at the Majestic Theatre.
In March, each board member has a list of individuals to contact for their fundraising month.
“We also have a fundraiser coming up on January 30 which is a Sunday through Pizza Hut,” Varley mentioned. “A percentage of the proceeds will go to Teammates. Then across the whole state of Nebraska every year, Teammates and Runza have come up with a partnership where we have Runza Day for Teammates.”
The main fundraiser cost is to host activities, a participation fee to Teammates headquarters, background checks for each mentor and a paid coordinator position within the chapter.
Another item the group fundraises for is scholarships through the local Wayne Teammates chapter. Each mentee is offered up to $2,000 (four semesters at $500) with the only requirement is being a mentee for each year of high school. ($500 for each year in high school a part of the program). To apply, the mentee will need to write an essay talking about what Teammates has meant to them.
The state Teammates Chapters also offers scholarships.
Reach out to Hoffman at 402-746-4340 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.