Diane Hanel knows the impact of a good mentor.
Hanel wanted her son, Drake Born, to have another positive role model in his life. So Drake had a mentor through the TeamMates Mentoring Program from 2009 until he graduated in 2013.
Now, Hanel and other area residents are working to launch a TeamMates program at Logan View High School, which serves youth in Winslow, Nickerson, Hooper and Uehling.
The TeamMates of Logan View program will begin mentoring students in the fourth grade, who attend Logan View Public Schools, and has established a goal of 30 matches for the 2017-2018 school year.
“Anyone can be mentored. It’s program that includes everyone,” said LV TeamMates board member Amy Kremke.
Plans are to launch the LV TeamMates program on Jan. 16. DeMoine Adams, a former Nebraska Cornhuskers football player, will visit with students and staff in the afternoon and attend games against Arlington that evening, when mentors will be recognized.
Mentors are being sought for the LV program and those interested are encouraged to apply. Training is planned from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Jan. 13 and 6:30-8:30 p.m. Jan. 14. Mentors need only attend one of the training sessions.
Former Nebraska Cornhuskers coach Tom Osborne and his wife, Nancy, founded the TeamMates Mentoring program in 1991 as a way to provide support and encouragement to youth.
In the school-based mentoring program, mentors come to the school for one visit per week, during the school year, and meet with the student.
Mentors can play games, talk and work on projects with their mentees.
Today, approximately 8,000 youth are being mentored by adult volunteers.
Hanel, a counselor at Logan View, said TeamMates is a very recognizable organization that benefits all kids.
“We all have mentors in our lives who help us identify our hopes and our dreams and these individuals help us by providing that encouragement to pursue our dreams,” Hanel said, adding, “My philosophy is that everyone can make a difference in the world today.”
Hanel, who said she and Drake’s dad ran a family business that kind of interfered with what they could do with their child, really appreciates the TeamMates program. She said the program allowed her son to meet with someone who shared the same interests and experience different activities. At the same time, the mentee and his mentor were able to grow and learn from each other.
In August, Tom Osborne came to Logan View and spoke about the program.
“It was wonderful to hear him speak about what the TeamMates programs can do for the youth and how mentoring can help the youth reach their full potential,” Kremke said.
She said the program has documented how the caring and consistent relationships not only help mentees reach their potential, but also gives them hope and encouragement and improves their overall well-being.
Kremke said her husband, Kris, has been mentoring for the last five years.
“He’s very busy with his work, but they find a time during the day, once a week, when he can meet with his mentee,” Kremke said. “Finding that time and working it in their schedule and making it be consistent gets a lot easier as you get into the program.”
Meeting just once a week seems to be doable for mentors with busy jobs, careers and families, she said.
Kremke has enjoyed the program with his mentee.
“It opens your eyes to what a caring individual can do for someone else — to just be there to listen,” Kremke said.
Program participants mentor the same student throughout their school years, until they graduate, if possible.
“If a mentee or a mentor moves away or changes schools, they can be re-matched as long as there is a chapter of TeamMates available through the school,” Kremke said.
The hope is that there will be enough mentors for the 30 matches.
In the meantime, area residents look forward to the start of the program.
“Having had prior experience with TeamMates in other schools, I am confident that the program will have a positive effect for our students,” said Jeremy Klein, LV superintendent. “We know that all students can benefit by the addition of one more caring adult in their lives and I am thrilled that Logan View Public Schools will have the opportunity to partner with TeamMates for the benefit of all of our students.”
To learn more about becoming a mentor for the LV TeamMates program, contact Diane Hanel or Lori Peters at 402-654-3317 or visit www.teammates.org. Mentors complete an application and have a background check.