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September 11, 2009


September 11, 2009

I have worked with Volunteer Florida over the past 5 years with their phenomenal Teen Trendsetter Program. High School students volunteer for 20 weeks to mentor struggling readers in elementary school. We started with 2 or 3 students and are now going strong with over 15 dedicated and regular and weekly volunteers. High School mentors are provided with professional training on mentoring and are provided with lesson plans and up to 3 series of books that are donated by Florida Power and Light. I cannot tell you how excited the teens get about working with elementary students for their community service hours. Since we have been doing Teen Trendsetting, I have students asking to particpate during the summer and I have more students than I can place at times. And, if there ever is a time when a teen does not show up for a session, I have experienced the hurt and loss that the 3rd graders (mentees) feel when they have missed being mentored. They insist we make us our time and we do! Parents are involved and are quick to provide feedback about the mentoring relationship which is always positive and full of praise. They truly appreciate the effort and find are quick to secure their spot in the elementary school's after care program. The Teen Trendsetter Program sponsored by Volunteer Florida is highly structured, well supplied, thanks to Volunteer Florida, and is truly making a difference for all of us. Last year, we mentored students at two Elementary Schools--one of which made an "A" by making their AYP. Do these teen volunteers make a difference? Most definitely. As a result of the Teen Trendsetting Program, we have been asked to read and work with additional grade levels including kindergarden. Volunteer Florida has become entrenched in our school system and is providing services to students that help the children, both the mentors and mentees, the school, and the effort demonstrates a true partnership with the community. The focus (reading) the method (teens with children--big brothers and sisters in mentoring capacity) the resources (wonderful books and lesson plans), make for a dynamic and progressive state of the art volunteer effort that is held in the highest of esteem in our district. There are no other words except that it is a win-win for all of us! Go Volunteer Flordia!!!!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Advising the Teen Trendsetter Program for 5 years

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...


More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The mentees and their parents and how much the teens impact the young children. There is sincere gratitude for the consistent and dedicated help.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Kind, positive, competent, caring, capable, responsive to feedback, resourceful. and providing a unique and necessary service!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Be instrumental in helping Florida Elementary schools make AYP (annual yearly progress)--especially in Reading!!!

Ways to make it better...


In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Getting computerized interface with school system and getting cooperation for data analysis to demonstrate program effectiveness School records laws are inflexible at times and our computers do not interface well.

One thing I'd also say is that...

The local resource person, Heather Brinkworth, is inspiring and helpful and has demonstrated outstanding leadership with this program. Broward County is IN for the long hall, largely because of the inroads she has made with us and her organization.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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