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January is national mentoring month and the Neligh-Oakdale Teammates Mentoring Program is participating in a campaign aimed at expanding opportunities to connect more young people with caring adults in the Neligh community.
There is a powerful mentoring effect demonstrated by research and the experiences of young people who are connected to a mentor in their life. Research has shown that when matched through a quality mentoring program, mentors can play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible decisions, stay focused and engaged in school.
TeamMates hosted a walking taco bar at the N-O home game last night.
Neligh-Oakdale currently has 24 students matched with a volunteer mentor through the Teammates Mentoring Program. They were recognized during halftime.
Students meet once a week for approximately 45 minutes to an hour during the school day with their mentor.
Gloria Christiansen and Leonard Miller shared why they are TeamMates mentors.
"I love relationships with young people. This gives me an opportunity to share some of my talents and to listen and learn from them," Christiansen said. "I think all of us need moments and times to talk to someone about things that are going on in our lives. I actually learn as much from my mentee as some people may think she learns from me."
Leonard Miller explained why he believes mentorship is important.
"I think everyone has a mentor whether they admit it or not at some point in their life. Somebody can make an impact on a person's life. Maybe they need some direction. It's worthwhile," Miller said.
Teammates also has an active board of directors. Board members include:
Andy Beyer, Jenny Higgins, Susie Loofe, Becky Kerkman, Bill Mowinkel, Carrie Pitzer, Kay Schilling, Steph Wanek and Erin Whitesel. Denise Gunderson and April Knust serve as coordinators for the program.