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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Mentoring Network Inc.

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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

71 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am the principal in a school that is a regular recipient of mentors from the Mentoring Network. The Network was worked with us to help match mentors with students for long term effects and relationships. Most importantly are the positive changes we seen our mentored students. Socially awkward students have started making friends, academics have improved and classroom behaviors have become more appropriate. While we looked for other variables that would have prompted such changes, we continually came back to the addition of a the mentor. I thank you, my teachers thank you and my students thank you.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege of working with the Mentoring Network for more than a decade, and I am so thankful for their impact on my life and the lives of so many of our Community's children. Working with this organization has had dramatic positive impact on graduation rates, truancy rates, crime rates, as well as connected many wonderful youth with caring, kind adults!! We have been so impressed with the positive results of this program, that we now allow our employees to mentor on company time so that they share their time and talents with the children of Caldwell.

Sharon87

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the Mentoring Network for nearly six years and it has been a very positive experience for me. Every week I would look forward to my hour with my student. It has been such a joy to watch the personal growth that each of my girls attained! My first girl just needed a boost to her self-esteem and some encouragement. She has moved out of the area and drops by occasionally. Such a beautiful young lady. My second girl has also moved, to Boise so I can no longer work with her. She had a lot of issues with lack of respect for others and by the end of school last year had made an improvement in how she treated others. We worked really hard on ways to show respect. I really miss having her in my life...but look forward to mentoring another child. It has been one of the most gratifying experiences in my life to watch these youngsters grow.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been mentoring 2 kids for 5 years. One is is in 5th grade and the other is in high school. I'm amazed just meeting with them for just 1 hour a week, how much I have seen them grow and and develop. I am more amazed on how they have taught me about what they go through everyday. I look forward to my time with them every week.

1 Mary193

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure to be involved as a mentor with The Mentoring Network for the past 8 years. I am having a great time with my current mentee; she is an outstanding young person. It is not difficult, but does require a commitment of an hr. a week plus some other occasional get-togethers. The most important thing that I do is be a friend to my young lady, but I also encourage excellent school attendance. We talk about life, classes at school, siblings, pets, cooking and goals for her future. Because of my age, I can give her lots of free advice and she listens to me. I think she is fun and keeps me young. Additionally, I support her mother and all that she does for her family and try to help my mentee see how hard she works for her family. This young lady is an excellent role mode to her five younger siblings.
I love the activities the Network provides for the kids and the enthusiasm & professional attitudes the leaders provides for the program. Honestly, I have a great time and would encourage others to get involved.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with the Mentoring Network Inc for over 7 yrs. I love it. The professionalism of those involved is excellent and the dedication to the kids is great to see. They are perfect examples of selfless service to the kids at need in the comminity. I love the fact that this program is one that is through the schools in the area and that is the meeting place for the Mentor and Mentee. This is an excellect program.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with The Mentoring Network for almost three years. I volunteered to be on their board when I realized what a significant impact that they had on the lives of children, and did so with such a minimal budget. They touch the lives of so many, with so little. I am proud to be associated with them and cannot think of a more deserving non-profit.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with The Mentoring Network for over seven years. What a great group of people to be associated with here in SW Idaho! I have now worked with two different students at the elementary school. The support the Mentoring Network offers mentors is excellent and the whole scope of the project is admirable. As school budgets continue to be cut (and proposed tax levies fail), the role of volunteers - especially well-trained & supported ones from the Mentoring Network - is invaluable in the schools. One hour, once a week really does change lives! www.MentoringNetworkID.org

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I must start by saying that we are all mentors be it good or bad people look at you and see what you are doing. This program helps me as much as my Kid. I have had my boy for 3 years now. I have been his shoulder when he needed it but more then that I have been able to watch him grow to a man and see the way can problem solve. What a young man he is he has gone from a problem child in school to a student that others look to and teachers like to have in the class. Yes it is for the kids but when you open your heart to them it is for you too. What a program everyone needs to be part of it. I thank Donna and staff for all that they do the kids is worth it. Thanks Lennie

Toni12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I mentor two little girls, ages seven and ten. It has been a privilege to work with them this past year and see them blossom. My friends tell me how lucky they are to have me in their lives. I tell them it is just the opposite--I am blessed to have them in my life. I'm really looking forward to being with them for years to come, watching them continue to build their confidence. This program is a tremendous opportunity for children, but no less so for the adults who volunteer and work with them. My thanks and my hat is off to those who worked so hard to move this program from idea to reality. It can't have been easy.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege of mentoring three students through the Mentoring Network over the past few years. It has been a very rewarding experience. I truly believe the adult mentors can make such a difference in a young person's life. I was blessed to have adult rolemodels in my formulative years that were such a positive influence in my life. My goal is to do the same for other youth and The Mentoring Network is making it a reality.

The Mentoring Network is a wonderful organization that has made such a difference in our community and schools. I am always sharing with other co-workers and friends how they can get involved was well.

Molly19

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I worked with The Mentoring Network for six years as a school counselor. The Mentoring Network provided us with top-notch mentors who met with several of our students on a consistent, weekly basis. I was always impressed with the quality of the mentors in The Mentoring Network. All of them were highly-regarded, caring individuals who had a soft spot in their hearts for kids. What most impressed me of The Mentoring Network mentors is their consistent caring. I have worked with other mentors before who showed up inconsistently. That was not the case with The Mentoring Network mentors. They showed up every week, regardless of what was going on in their own lives, and they often brought an interesting activity to share with their mentee. I saw mentors and mentees make holiday cards, play board games, and share books together. The activities provided a route for the mentors and mentees to connect. I would often see them laughing and talking together as they worked together. Also, The Mentoring Network mentees would continue their students for years. That sense of continuity and consistency gave my students a feeling a connectedness that they so desperately needed. The Mentoring Network fills a huge need in our community and it is an organization that I trust and respect to always do what's best for kids!

Sue_41

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son Mark is an Asperger Syndrome child, he was so lonely and bullied in grade school, he just never fit in. He was enrolled in the mentoring program in 6th grade and it literally changed his life. His friendship with Donna gave him self-confidence and gave him the introduction to social skills that we as parents were unable to do. Coming from Donna things made more sense to him, he didn't battle her the way he did with us, and accepted her advice as help not criticism. He graduated from High School this year and I am so proud of the young man he has become, I sincerely believe without the mentoring programs guidance and encouragement he wouldn't be where he is today. The program involved him in social functions, fun events, and learning programs that got him out of his comfort zone and into the adventure of the real world with others. We are so grateful for everything the program does for the kids in need in our community!!

Shelley E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been mentoring the same student for almost 3 years, and it is such a blessing to watch her grow and mature. The Mentoring Network offers students a chance to have an adult mentor with whom they can develop a meaningful relationship. There are so many great kids already benefiting from this program and in reality every child needs a mentor who they can call a friend.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of facilitating a mentoring relationship with students at my school. As a school counselor, I frequently receive information about students' lives and the impact of their circumstances on their academic performance and general well-being. The students at my school who have been in mentoring relationships through The Mentoring Network transform from sullen to smiling. One teacher remarked, "I wish I had 30 of him" (of the mentor) because she was so impressed with the impact on her student and the benefits mentors could provide to her entire class. This mentor proved his dedication by continuing a mentoring relationship through letters when the student moved to another part of the state. The mentors receive an excellent orientation prior to beginning and I am impressed by the organization, opportunities for summer camp, and data from The Network. I have to agree with the teacher quoted above--I wish we had many more mentors available.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Mentoring Network is a meaningful program which helps kids experience genuine kindness and acceptance.

Board Member

Rating: 5

One hour a week truly does change a childs life! Working with The Mentoring Network the past few years has afforded me the opportunity to hear many, many stories of kids that have been positively impacted through spending time with their adult mentor. This organization is one of the most efficient organizations that I have been a part of. Over 140 current matches with a staff of 1.5. No doubt that a donor's investment goes a long way with this group.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a counselor in the Nampa School District, and have seen amazing things come from the Mentoring Network! The mentors that they set up with our students are truely making a difference in these kids lives.

Sue_39

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am in my 3rd year of mentoring the same child. When I was first approached to be a mentor, I said no. Then, when it was explained to me, that the child was very sad because he didn't have a mom, due to her death at my mentee's age 3, I decided to just try it and I have was pleasently surprised. I was able to show up as a mentor every week for an hour my first year. During my 2nd year, we ended up getting a new 2nd home, where I began spending a lot of time. I asked my mentee if he wanted a new Mentor that could show up each week, and he said no, he would take me whenever I could show up. So, I began coming just once a month, which was still very satisfying for both of us. This year, I have been able to see him more often. I look forward to every meeting with my mentee. He is always so excited when he sees me waiting for him in the office, which reminds me that this is good for both of us. We spend time talking and playing games, which is one of his favorite things. When it's good weather, we play outside. Every winter, we make something special for a Christmas gift for his Dad, and he really loves this, as he normally wouldn't have anything to give his Dad for Christmas. My mentee really loves hot chocolate, so each time I see him, I bring him a thermos of hot chocolate, which he enjoys immensly. If I have any homemade treats, I also bring these, which he loves, since he doesn't have a mom to make these goodies for him. When there is a special occasion in his class, I will bring treats for all, and this makes him so happy as he is able to share with his class members. I try to go to his sports events and support him. I love being able to watch the games and I think he likes me coming to watch him. He told me that he had a friend who needed a mentor, because the boy was acting out. He thought that having a mentor would help his friend. This is further confirmation that this is a great program. The mentoring network is awesome and I really think that it helps kids as well as the adults.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

An boy with some anger issues, has a constant adult in his life. No matter what he may or may not have done each week, she shows up to be One Of His People. It makes a difference. A girl who struggles with self esteem has an adult that thinks she is wonderful and treats her as such. It makes a difference. A young boy working on making better decisions in his life, has a role model that is firm, but fun. It makes a difference. These are examples of the mentors that come to our school. Our kids are so thankful for the mentors provided by The Mentoring Network and we are, too. South Middle School