Each month, nearly two dozen of our employees are in classrooms across Omaha making a difference in the lives of children. As part of Mentoring Month, we recognize our employees who participate in the Partnership 4 Kids (P4K) program. The mentoring program helps educate students and prepare them for the future.
First-time mentors Tiffany Mantz and Cheryl Hugo stress the importance of mentoring. “As a parent, I know that kids always look outside the home for guidance,” Tiffany said. “I think it’s important for kids to get encouragement from everyone – not just teachers and family. Sometimes the best advice comes from an outsider.”
Cheryl added, “It’s important for kids to know that they are loved and that we care for them.”
Anna Bennett, another first-time mentor, said, “I’ve been lucky to have great mentors in my life and wanted to share my gifts and talents with our P4K students. Being a mentor gives me the ability to humbly share my values and coaching skills with our next generation of leaders.”
Anna decided to participate in the program this year because she’s passionate about the future of today’s children. “My primary passion is to enhance grade-level reading in the Omaha-Council Bluffs community,” she said.
By spending just one hour each month, our employees are fulfilled knowing that their time is spent helping someone else. “I love seeing them get excited to see us,” said Cheryl.
Giving back to the community through mentorship is another benefit of the program. Anna said, “What I didn’t anticipate was that, in the process of giving back, I’m also receiving in a way I never thought would be possible. My students are excited about reading and meeting their goals, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of those accomplishments.”
While classroom mentorships are important, lessons learned from the experience can be equally as important outside the walls of the school. Tiffany said, “My biggest takeaway from this has been the reminder that the little things matter. Kindness, compliments and encouragement go a long way with everyone – not just kids.”
Did You Know?
(Data and information from Partnership 4 Kids Social Return on Investment Report; May 8, 2017)
- For every $1.00 invested in P4K programming, there is an average return of $2.78 to participants.
- During the 2015-2016 year, mentors donated $187,000 in volunteer hours.
- Mentoring is linked to higher academic achievement and school engagement, decreased criminal activity, improved social skills and health for both mentors and students.