Working Together to Support Vermont’s Young People

November 8, 2013 Mobius

All youth can benefit from having a mentor.

Consistency is of the utmost importance in a mentoring relationship.

It is easier to retain a mentor than to recruit a new one.

As a mentor builds a strong bond with a mentee, he or she is likely to want to continue the relationship as the mentee grows older.

However, not every mentoring program can serve youth from kindergarten through graduation, which can create a breaking point in the mentor/mentee relationship when the mentee ages out of a mentoring program.

A mentee from the DREAM Program and her mentor, at her graduation from Winooski High School.

A mentee from the DREAM Program and her mentor, at her graduation from Winooski High School.

I believe those working in the field of mentoring would agree with these five statements.  They are the reasons why Mobius and mentoring programs across the state are collaborating to work towards the shared vision of mentor matches lasting through high school graduation.  This willingness of programs to partner with one another, in the best interest of the youth whom they serve, is one of the many strengths which make the mentoring community in Vermont special. New partnerships between programs are being established all around the state and existing collaborations are becoming stronger and starting to get the recognition they deserve.

This common mission of matches being able to continue through high school is being accomplished throughout the state in a variety of ways.

  • Under one supervisory union: The Addison Northeast Supervisory Union has started a new programthis year at Mt. Abraham Union High School so that mentors from the Starksboro and Monkton mentoring programs can transition with their mentee as they enter high school.
  • Elementary school-based to Community Based:  There are many examples of this model throughout the state:
    • In Rutland County, matches that start in the region’s many school-based programs are able to transition as they leave elementary school to See What 2 Can Do, a community-based program run by The Mentor Connector.
    • In Grand Isle County, matches that age out of the Grand Isle County Mentoring Program have the opportunity to join the Spectrum mentoring program.
    • In Montpelier, Everybody Wins! Vermont mentees at the Union Elementary School can transition with their mentor into Girls Boyz First, a community–based program in Washington County.
  • Through one agency that has established multiple mentoring programs:  Franklin County Caring Communities supports multiple elementary school-based programs with matches being able to continue into their community-based program, Watershed Mentoring.

VTIt is amazing to see how programs throughout Vermont have found their own ways to make the vision of mentor matches lasting through high school graduation a reality. Mobius is excited to work with all of Vermont’s mentoring programs to help build more partnerships, connect programs with one other and ensure that mentoring relationships have the opportunity to thrive as mentees get older.