Earlier this week, the Golden Eagle Education Foundation hosted a Mentor Thank You breakfast in the Learning Center. As mentors individually reflected on their experiences, I was struck by just how special this program is in connecting adults who have a lot to offer with kids who can benefit from the extra attention a mentor provides. The FH Mentor Program is another example of the advantages of being in a small district that is supported by the community, as these mentors are also our friends, neighbors, and family members. This program truly benefits both mentors and the mentees.
For Jeannie Ryan and Sandy Davis, the FH Mentor Program has been a labor of love for many years. Jeannie was kind enough to share the information below which I am passing on in an effort to increase awareness and support for both the FH Mentor Program and the Golden Eagle Education Foundation, with GEEF being the umbrella under which the Mentor Program operates.
A Little Background Information
The program started in 1996 and there were 27 mentors and 27 student mentees. In the 20 years since, there have been close to 1,500 mentors and over 1,700 students participate in the program. This year there are 85 mentors and 122 students, with mentor experience ranging from 15+ years to today being their first day, and students ranging from kindergartners to seniors in high school.
Mentor a Child and Make a Difference
The Fountain Hills Mentor Program is a school- and community-based program that offers our children the opportunity to reach their maximum potential by providing trusting relationships between young people and individuals who offer support, encouragement, and direction. Whether you have a little time to give or a lot, you can affect someone's life in a positive way. By contributing one hour a week, you can become a mentor with The Fountain Hills Mentor Program and give back to the next generation.
Mentoring is a program that really works. Students with mentors reported greater confidence in their performance at school and better relationships with their families. Mentored students are less likely to skip a day of school, less likely to skip a class, and less likely to engage in "at risk" behaviors.
Mentoring is rewarding to all those involved.
Mentoring also has the power to affect change providing trusting relationships between young people and individuals who offer support and encouragement. Through mentoring, one of the many rewards will be to watch your student move towards the successes in their lives.
The program takes place on school grounds, is under the supervision of teachers and administrators, has built in activities, and is based around academics. The Mentor Program is in all of the FHUSD schools: McDowell Mountain, Four Peaks, the middle school, and the high school. As mentioned above, there are currently 85 mentors that go into the schools each week and mentor one-on-one with the same student for one hour.
All mentors complete a two-hour training session and must go through a background check. Please contact Jeannie Ryan by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (480-836-2177) if you are interested in learning more about the Fountain Hills Mentor Program or attending a training session.