Superior mentoring program takes off in first yearA year of making friends was celebrated Thursday during the Mentor Superior annual picnic in Kelly Park.
By: Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
A year of making friends was celebrated Thursday during the Mentor Superior annual picnic in Kelly Park. To date, 30 children have been paired with mentors in Superior and Douglas County.
“Looking back over the past year, it is overwhelming to see the support of the community and the way the program has grown,” said Rebecca Haavik, Mentor Superior program advocate.
Mentor Superior started with a push from Superior/Douglas County Leadership participants, the support of the United Way of Superior-Douglas County and a partnership of Mentor Duluth.
Based in office space donated by the Superior Housing Authority, Mentor Superior matches adult mentors with children ages 5-17. Mentors provide one-on-one time with the child and serve as a positive role model.
“One of the greatest factors in a child’s success is just the number of positive adults they have in their life,” Haavik said.
Kathi Madsen, executive director of the United Way of Superior-Douglas County, said youth mentoring programs have been shown statistically to make a big impact on youth involved.
“Our goal is to have two full-time advocates, which could support 100 matches in the next couple years,” Haavik said. “But we are on track with our initial goal to have 35 matches and 25 kids waiting for mentors by the end of this year.”
Mentor Superior is geared toward making friendships. The program provides once-a-month activities for participants. But mentors aren’t expected to do big, expensive things with children. The program stresses doing free or low-cost things together, like watching a movie, taking a walk or cooking ... things you would do with a friend.
Anyone interested in learning more about Mentor Superior can contact Haavik at 218-393-9160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The group also has a Facebook page.
“We are in need of youth from single-parent families who would like to spend time with a mentor,” Haavik said, and adult mentors who want to spend time with a child. Male mentors in particular are needed.
Another way to support the program is to slip on your running shoes. The Mentor Superior 5K takes place Sept. 21 on the Osaugie Trail. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at Barker’s Island Marina with the race starting at 10 a.m. The cost is $25 per person, with proceeds slated for the Mentor Superior program’s day-to-day operations. Runners can register at the event, call Haavik or online at www.duluthymca.org.