Published On: Thu, Aug 31st, 2017

Wausa TeamMates are making a difference

WAUSA — Team Mates have been making a positive impact on a number of students at the Wausa School.
TeamMates, a school-based mentoring program, is open to students in grades four-twelve.
TeamMate mentors, who are volunteers, meet with the students during school hours on a weekly basis, according to Darren Vanness, coordinator for Wausa.
A strong trusting bond can develop between the adult mentor and the student as they continue to meet.
“Our goal was to have the mentors meet with the students 24 times during the school year,” Vanness said. “I am really proud. Our mentors have met that goal. That is great.”
A 100 percent improvement was made in discipline and attendance with the TeamMates program although this is not normally a major issue at Wausa.
Wausa has 24 TeamMates mentor/mentee matches although there is a need for more mentors.
“We have many other kids in school that would like to be part of our program,” Vanness said.
The mission of TeamMates is to positively impact the world by inspiring youth to reach their full potential.
The Wausa TeamMates Chapter, which was started in 2001 with six matches, now has 24 matches.
Tom Osborne, who is well-known for his coaching success with the Nebraska Huskers football team, formed the mentoring program along with his wife, Nancy.
TeamMates was founded by the Osbornes in 1991. They saw a need in the Lincoln Public Schools for a mentoring program. After seeing the positive affect a mentor can have, Osborne has helped expand the program, which now has grown to over 135 chapters in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Wyoming.
Wausa Mentors include Bob Marks, Bryan Knox, Amy Burns, Carlie Johnston, Catherine Clausen, Cathy Thierolf, Cheryl Marks, Chris Johnson, Darin Bloomquist, Gene Johnson, Heide Hefner, Jane Wilbeck, Jo Banks, JoAnn Kumm, JoAnn Wamberg, Kendra Suhr, Kyle Stevens, Mikaela Bloomquist, Nichole Carlson, Nicole Aitken, Paula Strom, Shelly Story, Elda Cunningham and Darren Vanness, a coordinator.