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Nooksack Valley mentorship program continues to grow

The Connect Mentors program at Nooksack Valley high and middle schools has offered proven success. And now it may soon grow and expand.

Already, about a dozen Connect Mentors at the two schools meet with students once a week, generally for an hour, with the focus on supportive relationships, says Jim Schmotzer, mentor coordinator. Some of the relationships have lasted multiple years and bridged from the middle school to high school.

While mentors will often work with just one student, others have transitioned to new students when one moves or graduates and stayed in the program in that way.

“Through mentoring, Nooksack Valley students benefit from relationships with adults who care, listen and support,” Schmotzer says. “Mentoring provides a safe space for students to explore the fullness of life, grow as individuals, be better ready for the daily opportunities of school and prepare for life beyond.”

The mentoring effort may soon grow, as Chuck and Lee Ann Hardy aim to bring the Be the One mentoring program to Nooksack Valley. A recent community informational meeting had over 50 in attendance. The Be the One program has proven a success at Lynden Schools, recently growing beyond the high school to Lynden’s middle school. Schmotzer says the hope is to increase mentoring options for students in Nooksack Valley Schools by increasing the organizational system, upping staffing and increasing recruiting and participation.

While the current program focuses on students identified as needing mentoring support, the Be the One program remains open to all students based on their request.