Empowering families to advocate for themselves so that children with special educational needs can reach their full potential in education and life - through support, training, and education. 
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MPACT Mentor Coordinator

Carrie Ragsdale, Mentor Coordinator Photo
Carrie Ragsdale is the Missouri Parents Act (MPACT) Mentor  Coordinator  who manages the volunteer Mentor Program and coordinates MPACT's participation in Resource Fairs and Back-to-School Fairs across the state.

Carrie has years of professional  and personal experience navigating the special education proc ess from First Steps and Early Childhood special education all the way through transition and post-secondary special education.

Besides providing one-on-one assistance to thousands of families as MPACT's Southwest Region Coordinator, she has also trained hundreds of parents, volunteers, and professionals about special education and disability-related topics.

If you have questions about MPACT's Mentor program, please call 800.743.7634 or email Carrie at cragsdale@missouriparentsact.org.
Become an MPACT Mentor
Mentors are trained volunteers who, upon request, provide support empowering families of children with disabilities throughout the special education process.  A Mentor does not represent or speak for a parent or family member, but assists the individual in becoming a strong educational advocate for his or her child. MPACT Mentors are screened and receive training and supervision from MPACT staff.

How do I become an MPACT Mentor Volunteer?
  • All Mentors must complete and return the appropriate Mentor application and any other required paperwork to the Mentor Coordinator.
  • All Mentors are required to attend the core MPACT workshops including, but not limited to, Art of Effective Advocacy, Special Education Law, Understanding the IEP Process, and Disagreement Resolution. Volunteers interested in becoming a Transition Mentor must also attend transition-related workshops.
  • All Mentors must complete Mentor Certification Training and attend IEP Modeling with an MPACT staff member.
Types of MPACT Mentors

Parent Mentors
These are trained volunteers who provide support to parents or family members of children with disabilities throughout the special education process. Parent Mentors offer one-on-one assistance to families via phone, email, and in-person meetings. Mentors may also assist in other volunteer assignments or activities.

Transition Mentors
These are trained volunteers who specialize in offering support to families in transition-related processes from school to adult life. In addition to completing the core Parent Mentor trainings, Transition Mentors also receive specialized training in the areas of transition.

Support Mentors
These are trained volunteers who provide office support, such as making copies and filing or assembling handouts and packets; assist MPACT staff at trainings, such as disseminating and gathering information and surveys; and represent MPACT at other local and state events, for example, attending Back-to-School Fairs and Resource Fairs.

Incentives for MPACT Parent Mentors
Mentors will be reimbursed for expenses incurred while performing their role as Mentors. Mileage reimbursement is available for attendance of education meetings, parent meetings, and other Mentor-related activities and duties. The current rate of reimbursement is .40 cents per mile. In addition to the mileage reimbursement, Mentors are also allowed a respite-care stipend of $25.00 for education meetings and parent preparation meetings.

To apply to become an MPACT Mentor, please fill out the Mentor Application packet and submit according to the directions provided.
Eva Martin

I've been a mentor with MPACT for nearly four years. I have two adult daughters and an adopted son who is four years old. I enjoy working with my friend Lori McBride helping families learn about the special education p rocess.  

I became a mentor after attending an MPACT-sponsored training. I saw how great MPACT could change things for families by giving them the information they need to be their own advocates. 

I would tell someone who wanted to be a mentor that it is the most rewarding feeling knowing you are able to help families become advocates for themselves. I wish I would have known about MPACT when my older children were in school.

MPACT is a great program, and I'm proud to be an MPACT mentor.
Lori McBride

I am the mother of two and "Nana" of two. I live in the southwest Missouri area and have been a mentor in the area for MPACT for approximately four years. I enjoy working with and learning from with other MPACT staff and Mentors. 

I became a Mentor because after watching my own children struggle in school and get passed over or left behind. I often wondered what help there was available for them. I attended one of MPACT's free special education workshops and quickly decided I could not only help my children, but also assist other children and families with their progress in the school system.

Let me tell you, volunteering for MPACT and empowering others has given me the greatest feelings of accomplishment I could imagine. 
MPACT is funded in part or whole by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs Grant No. H328M090020-10. The contents of the website, however, and any documents cited herein do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S Department of Education.
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