Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) is thrilled to announce the kick-off to our 2013 season with the Rodman Ride for Kids, a noncompetitive 25, 50 or 100 mile bike ride through southeastern Massachusetts on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013.Several mentoring programs have joined our efforts to raise funds for their own programs as well. We want you to meet one of the awesome riders on these teams!
Rider: Maddy Wendt Age: 24 City: Marine, MN (hometown); Northampton (current city) Occupation: Graduate student studying secondary education Distance riding: 25 miles Team riding for:Project Coach
Why did you choose to ride for mentoring in the 2013 Rodman Ride for Kids? I signed up with the Project Coach team. We are a group of graduate students at Smith College and the six of us work with low-income and unprivileged youth in Springfield. In addition to our normal graduate school courses, we work with Springfield teens to develop their coaching and leadership skills as well as work with them toward academic success and a future that includes college and a successful career. The Project Coach team has all signed up for the Rodman Ride to raise funds and awareness for this great cause.
What has been the most rewarding experience of your training and/or fundraising so far? Training for the ride has been great for me. Having commuted to work in Boston by bike for the past two years, I had come to dislike riding my bike because any ride I took was riddled with potholes, traffic lights, and hundreds of honking, impatient drivers. Now that I live in Northampton, I’ve rediscovered how much fun riding a bike can be, and I have really enjoyed riding all over the Pioneer Valley, training and getting to know my new territory at the same time.
Tell us about an important mentor you had/have in your life. In high school, my cross-country ski coach, Kris, was a great mentor to me. She modeled the kind of life I wanted to live, balancing her job as a chemist; her ski training and coaching; her hobbies of biking, running, and gardening; and her busy family of three children. In her high school days, she had struggled with many of the same problems I struggled with, and she showed me, both verbally and by example, how to persevere. She pushed me to train harder and race faster without letting anything else slip. And she gave me the bike that she rode in college – the same be I’ll be riding for the Rodman Ride.
Why do you think mentoring is important? How does it strengthen communities? Mentoring, whether formal or informal, is an important aspect of healthy communities. All children and teens, as well as many adults, benefit from mentor relationships. No one parent can provide every bit of information, expertise, and time that a child with diverse interests needs, so mentors step in and fill the holes that even the most devoted and well-intentioned of guardians might leave. A mentor’s most important role, I believe, is to model the behaviors and habits of a well-balanced adult and to guide their mentee towards a similarly balanced lifestyle. The more mentoring opportunities a community has, the higher the chance of success for the youth of that community. Youths who have grown up and matured surrounded by positive relationships will strengthen their community and, hopefully, become positive mentors themselves.
Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) is thrilled to announce the kick-off to our 2013 season with the Rodman Ride for Kids, a noncompetitive 25, 50 or 100 mile bike ride through southeastern Massachusetts on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. Several mentoring programs have joined our efforts to raise funds for their own programs as well. We want you to meet one of the awesome riders on these teams!
Rider: C.T. Ransdell Age: 27 City: Jamaica Plain Occupation: Associate Director of Development at Generations Incorporated Distance riding: 100 miles (4th year!) Team riding for: Generations Incorporated
Why did you choose to ride for mentoring in the 2013 Rodman Ride for Kids? Mentoring is such an important cause for me, and being able to raise awareness for it by uniting with others who participate in the Ride for Kids is special. Not only do I get to raise awareness for our program, but also showcase the importance of fitness and what it can do for society.
What has been the most rewarding experience of your training and/or fundraising so far? I like to run a lot and may have taken on some crazy endeavors to support causes, so just being able to say that I can run another mile, ride up another hill, or break sweat – all for a cause – is the biggest reward.
Tell us about an important mentor you had/have in your life. My granddad. He was a firm believer in service. Much like the Ride’s motto of ensuring all kids live as we would want our own to live, he wanted everyone in his local community to live a healthy and happy life much like himself and his family. He was very humble, carrying out all of his community-based work with aggressiveness, and never arrogance. He has taught me so much, and will always remain an inspiration to serve something greater than myself.
Why do you think mentoring is important? The need for mentors is important in our society. Even when a young man or woman has someone they can look up to, it takes a village of mentors to make an impact. I have recently become a “Big Brother” through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay so I can do my part in a greater village of service.
How does mentoring strengthen communities? I think everyone has had a different set of life experiences and been exposed to different worldviews. They’ve faced different challenges, been carried away in different joys, and have acquired a unique array of wisdom. Being able to help a mentee see things a different way, inspire them, and comfort them will hopefully help them become stronger, and in turn, strengthen the social fabric around them as they share their experiences.
Guest post submitted by Dennis Quinn, director of mentoring programs, Reader to Reader
For Reader to Reader, our most successful recruitment has always been by word of mouth. Given our close relationship with Amherst College students, current mentors would often recommend us to their friends. In the days when we had 20 mentors, we didn’t need much more than that. Last year, though, we had 85 mentors, and with the growth we expect this year, we may reach 100.
For that reason, and with the support of Mass Mentoring, we hope to take a more targeted approach to recruiting. Our back to school event on Sept. 4, a cookout at our office, will be open to all returning mentors, each of whom will be invited to bring a first-year student that they think would make a good mentor. We have prizes and incentives for both the new recruits and their recruiters, plus food for everyone.
This “adopt a freshman” promotion will help us reach new students at the very start of the year. At the same time, we can ask our returning mentors to help us with some particular recruitment goals – especially recruiting male students to mentor.
We are excited to try a new strategy this year, and we are grateful for the support from Mass Mentoring to strengthen our recruiting efforts. We wish the rest of our Western Mass mentoring colleagues the best of luck on their own recruiting and a successful mentoring year!
By Sarah Shugrue, manager of Western MA partnerships
Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) is a proud supporter of the Stay in School Campaign, a Springfield city-wide campaign focused on reducing the rate of chronic absenteeism and encouraging students to attend school daily, graduate on time, and pursue their dreams.
This September, we are looking forward to celebrating the inaugural Attendance Awareness Month statewide to raise awareness on how mentoring can play a role in academic success. The week of Sept. 16-22 is being celebrated as Mentoring Works! Week.
Children with mentors are:
52 percent less likely than their peers to skip a day of school
37 percent less likely to skip a class
More likely to improve their grades
More likely to have better attitudes about school and trust their teachers
We believe that mentoring can play a critical role in supporting the Commonwealth’s goals of improving the drop out rate and improving academic achievement for students. Underprivileged youth are more likely than others to drop out of school and engage in risky behaviors that can negatively affect their future potential and the health of our communities.
Mentoring can help reverse these risk factors, as youth with mentors are more likely to have a positive and engaged attitude toward school and are more likely to stay in school. In addition, mentoring can help promote academic success by reducing behavior problems, improving literacy, and increasing post-secondary options for all students.
Let’s raise our collective voices this September to show how mentoring is a powerful, low-cost strategy for addressing the drop out and chronic absenteeism rates in our communities. By matching at-risk students with trusting and caring adult mentors, we can help transform and overcome the harmful cycles that prevent youth from succeeding. Please consider how you can support mentoring, whether you become a mentor, develop a program, join a board or help promote the message that mentoring works.
Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) is thrilled to announce the kick-off to our 2013 season with the Rodman Ride for Kids, a noncompetitive 25, 50 or 100 mile bike ride through southeastern Massachusetts on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013.We want you to meet the awesome riders on Team MMP!
Why did you choose to ride for Team MMP in the 2013 Rodman Ride for Kids? I love the cause, and I feel responsible to do my part in supporting it. Rather than just making a donation, I want to do something bigger.
What has been the most rewarding experience of your training and/or fundraising so far? Meeting children directly impacted by mentoring organizations in Massachusetts. It shows us directly what is coming of our hard work to ride and fundraise.
Tell us about an important mentor you had/have in your life. The best mentor in my life has to be my dad. He works harder than any many I know, and has instilled the strong work ethic I have today. I owe much of my recent success to the mentoring from my father.
Why do you think mentoring is important? It leads these children down a better path, and gives them opportunities to succeed that they might not have already had.
How does mentoring strengthen communities? Mentoring strengthens communities because it betters the future of the community, making it more viable.
Why did you choose to ride for Team MMP in the 2013 Rodman Ride for Kids? It’s a great cause and riding tandem is something we have never tried before. We love a challenge!
What has been the most rewarding experience of your training and/or fundraising so far? We’ve never ridden a tandem bike, but it brings two best friends and roommates closer. Even better, we are able to contribute to a great cause and help kids who need it.
Tell us about an important mentor you had/have in your life. Zach – my dad taught me true discipline and supporter me in much of my athletic career.
Andrew – my mom is a true inspiration (she has battled breast cancer three times and is a three-time survivor) and someone who has supported me in anything and everything I have done throughout my life.
Why do you think mentoring is important? It provides structure and stability for kids who don’t have it in their lives.
How does mentoring strengthen communities? Mentoring builds and supports the adults of tomorrow, directly affecting our community and its future.
“We are excited to ride tandem and will be practicing each weekend in the heat! People doubt the tandem but we are up for the challenge, and expect it to be easier with two engines as opposed to one. We will see you at the Ride!” – Zach and Andrew
Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) is thrilled to announce the kick-off to our 2013 season with the Rodman Ride for Kids, a noncompetitive 25, 50 or 100 mile bike ride through southeastern Massachusetts on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013.
This year, Mass Mentoring’s CEO, Marty Martinez, is considering riding for the first time ever. Tell us what you think. Should Marty ride this year? Take our poll!