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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

37 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with The Mentoring Network for less than a year, but am already completely convinced of its importance to our community! I am loving being a mentor, and only wish that I could mentor more kids! In a few short months it is very apparent that an hour a week can indeed make a big difference in the life of a child.
This organization seems to be very well run, with such beautiful heart for its mission. I plan to become even more involved, ready to be of use in whatever way makes sense.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with The Mentoring Network for over 5 years. I have enjoyed every minute of being a mentor. Each student has a need for a little special something in their life and I am more than happy to give that to them. It's only an hour a week, but it means so much more to the both of us. My current mentee and I have lunch each week and pay card games and talk and talk ... and then laugh and laugh. I enjoy our time together and I know she does too.

I can't say enough good things about Donna Shines. She is a fabulous lady, one I have worked with through both The Mentoring Network and the Treasure Valley Kiwanis Club. Her organization is one to whom we donate funds from our annual golf scramble and each year, we are pleased that we are able to help out such a fine organization.

I am very pleased that I joined The Mentoring Network and that I have the hour each week to help out a very special young lady. It does both of us a lot of good!

Kelli Rivera K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was very sick and in the Hospital for 8 weeks. A person does a lot of thinking when you have nothing but time to heal. My best friend Michele took me to a meeting and told me I needed to do this Mentoring thing, I went and listened. I am a shy person when it comes to these kinds of things. I went home talked to my Husband and I slept on it and for some reason. So I called Donna and 14 yrs. later I'm still here trying to Help the Kids . I do not have any of my own kids so I wasn't sure on how I could help . I am going on how I was raised. The old fashion way. I will keep mentoring as long as I am able to. Please help the kids who need this program .

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have gained so much more from my association with The Mentoring Network and my dear little mentee than I could ever had expected or believed. The joy with which she greets me each week is delightful. We talk about so many things. It makes my life so fulfilled. You should try it!

medavidsdn

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been matched with a young mentee through The Mentoring Network (TMN) for the past 2+ years here in Canyon Co. Idaho. I cannot say enough positive about the great work TMN is doing in our communities. I constantly recommend involvement with TMN to others I come in contact with who want to make an impact in young lives. The experience is also absolutely positive and powerful in the lives of everyone involved with TMN. An incredible organization doing powerfully positive work.
All my very best!
Mike D.

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.

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!

Esther16

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have enjoyed working as a mentor and the experience has been Maude positive through the organization and help of Donna and Gretta

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's been a great pleasure volunteering as a mentor to a beautiful girl name DeAjah during school hours, I have learned a lot about teenagers and has become fond of her and that led to me working on a part time basis at the department of health and wealth farewell with troubled girls which I love doing and help the girls over come their difficulties in life and continue their schooling.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering with the Mentoring Network six years ago in the fall of 2009 and continue to do so now. My first mentee was in third grade when we began meeting and he is now a sophomore high school. We continue to meet and discuss whatever he chooses --
mostly interactions at school and what's going on in our local area. In addition I met with
with a middle school girl for two years. Presently I also meet with a 4th grade boy . Each of
these children have shown me how important it is for them to have someone to share with and talk to ... a person who listens carefully to whatever they are trying to express, one who plays with them and helps them learn more about interacting fairly with classmates, etc. etc. The reward that I get from helping these children is watching them grow in so many positive ways. The Mentoring Network is truly a caring and compassionate organization that is making a difference in the life of the children it serves. And for the Mentors who help!

3 Michelle336

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering to make a difference in a child's life is an amazing experience. I've met a friend for life.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Mentoring Network since 2002. In that time, I have had 5 mentees. It was a little disconcerting to have a parent pull a student from the program with no explanation, but, that's what happened. I've enjoyed each student, and have been with the current one 4 years. She's reaching the teenage life, and sometimes I wonder if and how I'm helping her, but then say to myself, just relax, be a friend, play another game of Rummy. That seems to be what she wants/needs. The program has helped me, too, getting me going on days I'd just as soon not go, but once I do, I find it worth it. I have enjoyed the day camps, and can see so many of the kids grow, so I have seen other kids' progress, not just my own. The staff is tremendous, and although the volume of mentors/mentees has grown so much, care is taken to get to know each of us, so we each feel special. This community would be so much poorer in soul without the MN. The sponsors seem to be as interested and involved as those of us with our weekly sessions. The schools have been more than willing to work with my schedule so I can spend time with my special kid. I can only think positively about everyone involved, and am glad I'm in the network.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Like a lot of these kids, i did not have the greatest childhood growing up. I have always wanted to help children and thought this is a great way to do that. When I first met "Matt Man" we had a lot in common. During the 2 years I have mentored Matt we have become good friends, and have helped Matt get through some tough times. Matt will now visit me a the Police station just to say hi. Getting involved in The Mentoring Network was the best thing for me, it has allowed myself, and Matt to grow. Being able to spend an hour a week with Matt just hanging out, or being able to help him through his struggles is something i looked forward too each week. Thanks Mentoring Network for allowing me to do this!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with the Mentoring Network since February of 2014 and have a great relationship with a young man that is in 6th grade this year. You never have any idea how you might influence someone with just a little bit of your time. I was amazed when I got a report from this young man's teachers, school counselor, and principal of his improvements in grades, behavior, and overall attitude in a very short period of time. I did nothing but listened and became his trusting friend. I am humbled and grateful for this experience. What an opportunity to reach out and touch a life. These kids need all of our help. One hour a week is so insignificant to the positive impact you can have on them. The Mentoring Network is a huge difference maker.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This year I had the oppertunity to get involved with the Mentoring Network. I first meet my Friend Johnathon Z with and event called shop with a cop. Later I learned that I would be mentoring Johnathon. Jonathon come from a low income household. Each week I met him at his school to play and talk. I coul;d count on a big smile when I showed up and from there it was non stop talking, sharing stories and playing games. The Mentoring Network has made amazing oppertunies to spend with theses kids that may have little or no role models in their life. I am dedicated to the program and the amazing effort the Mentoring Network puuts in to change the lives of or kids.
Captain Frank Wyant
Caldwell Police Department

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a teacher of the year at our school. I have had students' lives changed for the better from chaos to being given a reason to be at school. I also retired a few years back and have taken up mentoring. I have two students I visit with weekly and not only have I seen great kids turn better but I look forward as they do to my weekly meetings. We talk, play games, throw frisby, and eat lunch together. I look forward to a new school year and checking back in with my kids.