Mission: Western Wellness Foundation Inc. was founded in 1995. Today, our mission is making a positive difference in children and families, one at a time. We serve the eight-county region of southwest North Dakota. The Best Friends Mentoring Program is the main program of Western Wellness, which holds the 501(c)3 status for all its programs.
Results: We match a minimum of 175 youth each year with a trained, caring adult volunteer mentor. Our recently-completed external evaluation showed that:
94% of mentored youth in Best Friends Program improved their behavior
90% of mentored youth improved their academic competency
88% improved their social skills
42% demonstrated overall GPA improvement in math and reading, combined
Target demographics: at-risk youth, ages 6-16, in the 8 county region of southwest North Dakota.
Direct beneficiaries per year: More than 175 at-risk youth who need extra adult guidance and support to be successful.
Geographic areas served: 8 counties of southwest North Dakota
Programs: School-based mentoring: the mentor meets with the mentee at school, usually during the student's lunch time, to eat together and play on the playground or read or have computer time.
Community-based mentoring: the mentor and mentee meet together outside of school time to enjoy activities together.
Literacy Mentoring: the mentor provides encouragement, support and tutoring to the mentee during the school day.
My son is a mentor to a little boy who had problems making friends in school because he just moved to our town. He was also absent from school quite a bit. My son told me that since he has been visiting his buddy at school over lunch, the boy now has a couple of friends and the teacher said he never misses school on the day when his mentor is coming to see him. They like to play football with my son and he said he feels he is making a difference because his buddy seems happier and he's not getting into so much trouble during recess. The principal told him that just by being himself, my son is a good role model for the little boy, who does not have a positive male role model in his life.
I have been working for BFMP for the past 14months and after 10+ years in the non-profit sector I am impressed with the quality of program BFMP Provides. It is wonderful to have the largest mentoring organization in ND located in Dickinson ND
Presently administers matches between about 200 kids and their mentors. Approaches the growing problem of 'at risk' children in a very efficient, comprehensive manner. Has a very good 'brand' within the community.
Best Friends has a geat reputation in Dickinson. The program benefits both the mentor and the child they are working with. There's a lot of logic to the idea of establishing another adult connection early on - much more cost effective to do it sooner than later. I've only heard good things about Best Friends.