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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Human Services, Youth Development

Mission: The Mission of The Mentoring Network, Inc. is to provide school-based, direct-to-youth mentoring that will improve life outcomes for vulnerable and disengaged children by developing resilience skills, supporting the development of personal strengths, and increasing self-sufficiency.

Results: 77% of the kids who are being actively mentored show improvement in behavior. 85% become more caring. 86% grow in friendship building skills. 73% of our actively mentored kids improve their grades. Each of these helps create a better future for both the child and the world. “Mentoring has shown me that younger kids look up to adults for guidance. This program has made me realize that if we don't show the younger generation what it means to work than they won't have all the skills that we had to learn when we were young. I also have learned that for some kids, life and school are harder for them than others, and by being a mentor I can show that child that someone cares enough to help them through the tough times.” –Mentor—2 years in the program

Target demographics: The MN works with rural, school referred, at-risk students, grades 1-8 and continuing through high school with MN students that choose to.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 154+ youth first grade through high school

Geographic areas served: The MN currently serves five school districts in Idaho: Nampa, Caldwell, Parma, Homedale, and Vallivue.

Programs: Since 1999, The Mentoring Network, Inc. has offered school-based mentoring to rural, school referred, at-risk students, grades 1-8 and continuing through high school with MN students that choose to. The MN currently serves five school districts; Nampa, Caldwell, Parma, Homedale, and Vallivue.

Community Stories

63 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a newbie to this wonderful program since joining for the first time this fall. Having been a classroom teacher for 33 + years I appreciate very much the value of such a program Many of our children are products of dysfunctional families and have no stable caring adult in their life . Presently I am a mentor for a 4th grade boy who has experienced a number of losses in his young life. He was depressed and below grade level. An elderly couple mentored him last year and because of their love and care little Johnny made substantial progress. Due to circumstances beyond their control they had to move out of state. I took their place. Little Johnny is up to grade level and is a delightful young man. He communicates well with me and in the 5-6 times we have had together I find him quite creative with a good imagination. He looks forward to our times together and is disappointed when the school schedule interferes with that time. I look forward to each Thurs. afternoon and come away feeling that that hour was well spent.
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Nelda

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a mentor for just under a year. However, I have worked with Donna as a school counselor for several years previous to that. I have nothing but positive things to say for this organization. I just wish we could get more mentors to meet the needs of so many students that could use them. As a counselor, I would sometimes hear parents or teachers say that students misbehaved because they were just trying to get attention. I would think they were probably right and so wish that there were someone who could answer their need for attention. As a counselor with all the responsibilities of a school with over 600 students, the mentoring just didn't happen. This organization sets up all the logistics to make the good things happen.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the opportunity to be a volunteer with The Mentoring Network over the past several years and have seen the amazing work that is being done through this program. The mentors and mentees have such an amazing bond and it is obvious that each one plays an important role in the other ones life.

Lawrence V.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with the Mentoring Network for 12 years now. I have had the pleasure of mentoring 3 young men. I have enjoyed seeing them grow. It's fun to listen to them and learn to trust you so they can share their experiences, hopes, fears, and the future. I have also experienced several summer camps over the years. One of the most rewarding experience was on a challenge course. Seeing the fear they are experiencing , but then watching as they overcome this fear and complete the course.

Also , the leadership at the Mentoring Network is extremely dedicated to the mission of the Network.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a mentor for almost 2 years now, I have a young girl who was very angry and distant. I am so thrilled to see how she has come so far. I went to see her last week and it was wonderful to see her surrounded by friends and laughing and smiling. I know she can have a very bright path with the right choices and I want to help her understand this. Thanks you Donna for this amazing connection.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been a mentor for the Mentoring Network for the past 4 years. The leadership at the Mentoring Network is dedicated to improving the lives of the at-risk children in our communities. As I have shown up each week to bring encouragement and love to my kids that I mentor, I have personally seen the changes in their lives. I am very thankful for the opportunity to mentor that is provided by the Mentoring Network.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked closely with the Mentoring Network and Donna Shines. I cannot speak highly enough of the amazing work that is taking place within our community. It is because of people taking time to mentor that we will begin to see less kids drop-out of school, participate in illegal activities. The kids will know their self-worth and understand they are loved beyond measure. So happy to have the Mentoring Network in our community!

Tami V.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with Donna Shines and the Mentoring Network for approximately 15 years. I first became acquainted with this fantastic program as a classroom teacher and, as an administrator, I recognize the valuable service this organization provides for my students. It started with a young man in my classroom who needed a positive male role model in his life. His mentor stayed with him through high school and into the armed services. I am still in regular contact with this young man, and he attributes much of his success to his mentor, Ray. Throughout my career in education, I've witnessed the powerful transformation of many students who have been able to form bonds with mentoring adults. One student who has bounced from foster home to foster home struggled to form relationships. It took his mentor well over a year to convince him she was not going anywhere and no one was paying her to visit him. Having someone that shows up every week just for him, has given him confidence and strength to handle all the difficult situations that are beyond his control. I could share several stories about this wonderful organization that matches at-risk students with caring adults to form life-long friendships which can be the cornerstone of healthy productive lives. I encourage everyone to join with The Mentoring Network in any capacity whether it be financial support or volunteering time. Together we can make a difference in the lives of children.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Mentoring Network Inc has provided a great amount of positive experiences and transformations in our school district's students. As an employee of the school district I have been able to witness social and academic growth through this mentoring program. I was so deeply affected by the amazing work The Mentoring Network Inc does that I became a mentor myself. I would highly recommend becoming a mentor with The Mentoring Network Inc to experience the power of mentoring in our students' lives!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Mentoring Network is the epitome of goodness in Idaho! Bringing caring adults to children in need to give them an opportunity for a positive connection with an adult is something that every child needs. Donna Shines, the MN Board Members and all Volunteers do great things for Idaho!
Toni Brinegar