TeamMates Mentoring Program being set up in Platte County

Teams are made up of young kids who are learning how to navigate the rigors of life. The danger even in small towns are the children that don’t feel as if they fit in. TeamMates is a mentoring program that will assign mentors with kids who need another rational adult voice to help them through the rough times and to celebrate with them during the victories. Pictured are the spirit squad from Wheatland High School.

Kids all over the nation are slipping through cracks and we are losing them in the turnstiles of life. Perhaps there is a child with problems at home or maybe they are well adjusted at home and having trouble finding their niche in school.

It is hard enough to navigate the whitewater rapids of growing up with friends and peer pressure, but when a child feels all alone and alienated, the signs are not always visible to those who are occupied with their busy lives. Little by little children can detatch themselves little by little until they feel invisible.

Where once they thought it was a safe and warm place, they soon find out that invisible is lonely and scary place. Almost like playing hide and go seek and the other kids eventually give up looking and go home. By the time the child realizes there is nobody there, the devastation and panic can set in.

According to the TeamMates website, the organization set up by former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborn was developed sort of as a “no kid left behind” program. “TeamMates is a school-based one-to-one mentoring program that matches screened, trained volunteer mentors with youth in grades 3-12. Mentors and mentees meet once a week at the mentee’s school and focus on building a long-term relationship that ideally lasts until the mentee graduates from high school.”

Some mentor relationships, however can last a lifetime. I’ve always told my kids that going into the world each day is mandatory. Making an appearance is easy, but making a difference is life changing. For you and the individual whose life you touch.

“TeamMates Mentoring Program began in 1991 with the vision of University of Nebraska Head Football Coach Tom Osborne and his wife Nancy,” according to teammates.org. “Coach Osborne felt that the athletes in his program could make an impact on the middle school students, and twenty-two football players began meeting with middle school students in the Lincoln Public Schools. Of the 22 original mentees, 21 went on to graduate from high school while one left school early to pursue a successful Motocross career. Eighteen of the original mentees also obtained some form of post-secondary education. The program has changed quite a bit since then. We now serve thousands of boys and girls across the Midwest, and our mentors come from all walks of life. One thing, however, remains the same— our mentors just have to be there. It’s that simple.”

This Thursday night, Feb. 3, at Wheatland Middle School you have a chance to join the mentoring team. You can be one of those people that will set your hearts and your life’s goal to the idea of “no kid left behind.”

The program will explain the steps and the requirements needed for mentoring right here in your own county. The Platte County School District #1 TeamMates board includes: Heidi Adams, Tara Adams, Diane Haroldson, Kristen Jones, Justin Murphy and Derrick Sisson.

Thank God for a mentoring team that can see the ones who are huddled away from the crowd. These mentors are superheros because they can see the invisible and can help bring them back home. If for nothing else than just another rational adult voice that our kids can trust and listen to, it is so worth it.

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