Each year St. Joseph’s mentor program, Children Count, matches employees with a Lakota (Sioux) student to spend time together outside normal classroom and home activities.
The mentor committee also plans special activities, like picnics, movie nights and the recent trip to the Chamberlain bowling alley.
“Our goal on the mentor committee is to help build positive relationships between adults and children,” said Dee, committee chairperson. “These relationships can help children compensate for early negative experiences and protect them from the influences of social toxicity, negative peer groups and media violence. That’s all very clinical, but it’s really just about being there for these kids — keeping them safe and meeting them where they are in their life.”
Students are referred to the mentor program by their Family Service Counselor because they lack one-on-one contact with an adult. Many do not have a family member who can check them out for an evening or weekend.
Julie, Residential Director, helped launch the program in 2002 and was Kelsey’s mentor until she graduated from St. Joseph’s High School Program in 2009.
“The best part of this program was getting to know Kelsey,” said Julie. “Both Kelsey and my children feel as though she is part of our family, and that is priceless!”
Read more on St. Joseph’s blog!
Mariah checks out her team's scores.
Sherri helps Nevaeh choose the right ball.