Mentoring in the Media

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Calaveras program celebrates National Mentoring Month

Mentoring programs across the country are celebrating January 2019 as National Mentoring Month, a campaign designed to expand quality mentoring programs and connect more young people with caring adults.

Locally, the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program is celebrating its 16th year serving the youth of Calaveras. Established in January 2003 as a program of the Calaveras County Office of Education (CCOE), the Mentoring Program made its first match on Dec. 18, 2003, and its 160th match on Nov. 14, 2018.

The Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program is a “Best Practices” program that connects local youth with safe, positive mentors who offer friendship, opportunity, and support for making healthy life decisions. Volunteer mentors spend a few hours every week with their mentee, doing fun activities and building a friendship. Ongoing Mentoring Program evaluation indicates that local students with mentors improve their self-esteem, their ability to build trusting relationships with adults, and their outlook on their own futures.

This year, the Mentoring Program is expanding to include youth ages 16 to 21 in a Young Adult Mentoring group designed to support young adults in their transition to adulthood. In monthly group gatherings, young adults practice life skills and get support for their individual challenges. Young Adult Mentoring has supported young people in successfully applying for a job, learning to cook, passing a DMV test, applying for college, and getting a Social Security card and ID.

“We are extremely proud of our youth and our youth mentoring programs,” said CCOE Superintendent Scott Nanik. “Building connections and getting youth excited about their future strengthens our whole community. We encourage more citizens to join this important work!”

The Calaveras County Office of Education also administers the FNL Mentoring Program. FNL Mentoring matches seventh- and eighth-grade protégés from Toyon, Mark Twain and Avery Middle schools with 10th- through 12th-grade mentors from Calaveras and Bret Harte high schools. This program is now in its 11th year in Calaveras County and has served more than 500 students.

The Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program is seeking volunteer mentors in all parts of Calaveras County.

For more information, call (209) 736-6078 or go online to


CCOE helps make mentoring program holiday party a success

Employees of Calaveras County Office of Education and residents of Forest Meadows this year donated more than 50 toys for the kids in the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program.

The Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program hosts an annual Holiday Party for mentees, mentors and their families. At the party, each child gets to take home a gift. Most of the toys this year were collected at a toy-drive for staff at CCOE.

“The delight and excitement on the kids’ faces is something you can’t forget,” said Mentoring Program Coordinator Katie Lackler. “Our annual Holiday Party is a great opportunity for mentees to meet other kids their own age and for families and mentors to get to know each other in a festive, inclusive environment.”


Vicki Harrington - November Mentor of the Month

“One of the best times I’ve had with Cris was just recently,” said Vicki. “He showed me a comic book he’s making with all his own drawings. He’s very artistic. What I’ve enjoyed most about mentoring is being able to spend time with a young person and seeing my friendship with Cris grow.”

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Gary Olson - October Mentor of the Month

“Gary is a steadfast and passionate supporter of the Mentoring Program and has always been very modest about the value of his contributions. We are very lucky to have him in our program,” said Katie Lackler, Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program coordinator for the Calaveras County Office of Education.


Lindsey Titus - July Mentor of the Month

The Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program is honoring Murphys resident Lindsey Titus as its July 2017 Mentor of the Month. Titus is not only a dedicated volunteer mentor, but also a valued member of the Calaveras County Office of Education Student Support Services team.


Alan Horvath - June Mentor of the Month

Horvath’s match came about through a unique set of circumstances. He met Kevin, his 9-year-old mentee, through their church in Murphys.

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Mentors extend helping hands to young adults - SWAG program provides support

“He was very impressed with me and the skills that I had behind the wheel,” said Ortega. “Tallakson is the type of person that is all about the kids, all about being on time and helping out young adults to try to make their lives better. That was what I was trying to look for in a mentor in the SWAG program.”