HUMPHREY — TeamMates is coming to Humphrey.
The statewide mentoring program is inching closer to becoming an official chapter.
The Humphrey chapter is being formed and is looking for people who are willing to give up a little bit of time to make a difference in a child’s life.
Local organizers formed a board of directors during a meeting Oct. 10 at the Humphrey Democrat office.
Officers are James Droescher, president; Jamie Sunderman, vice president; Kim Sueper, secretary; and Kris Hastreiter, treasurer.
The remaining board members are Jennifer Dunn, Greg Sjuts, Peggy Bertrand, Luke Wieseler, Diane Zach, Tony Miller, Mark Olmer and Pam Olmer.
There will be a board training session for members.
The Humphrey chapter has two coordinators, one at each school. Jen Nolan is the St. Francis coordinator, and Whitney Dykstra is the Humphrey Public School coordinator.
Nolan said TeamMates would be a great addition for the community.
“I have experience with TeamMates and working with kids when I was a mentor when I worked in Columbus,” she said.
She said sometimes kids need someone to talk to other than their parents.
“TeamMates is important to me because I saw the positive impact it had for my mentee and believe that if our youth in the community can have more positive adults in their lives that it can only help them. Sometimes they need to talk through some things that they don’t want to talk to Mom and Dad about. I think both schools working together is going to be a great addition to the community,” Nolan said.
The board and committee will have to work on recruitment and fundraising.
Chapter dues are $400 a year, and the chapter pays the $30 fee for background checks for mentors, who must go through the screening process before being approved to work with kids.
All mentoring takes place on school grounds, during school hours to create a safe environment. A mentor spends just 30 minutes a week with a student at the school.
There are some organizational plans, including attending the Huskers spring football game and Creighton University basketball games.
There are three ways a student can receive a mentor: The student can nominate himself or herself to have a mentor; parents can nominate their child; or the school staff can nominate a student. Parental permission is required for a student to be in TeamMates.
Mentors must be at least 18.
Matches are done on commonalities, which creates stronger bonds.
Mentors are matched with one student, and students in third grade through seniors in high school are eligible for a mentor.
TeamMates is in more than 160 communities and five states.