Many adults believe that kids haven't changed much over the years, but nothing could be further from the truth! Teenagers are journeying through high school with more freedom, fewer boundaries, and more challenges. (Scroll down to hear how one student has been changed by mentoring.)
Life Bridge, Inc., was started in 2004 as a teen mentoring organization. Together with full-time staff and numerous volunteers, our goal is to facilitate one-to-one mentoring relationships between students and healthy adults resulting in positive life changes.
Our vision is to give students hope, keep them off drugs/alcohol, help curb risky behaviors, and to encourage healthy choices. Trained adults invest 90 minutes each week for a year into students' lives through a one-to-one mentoring relationship. Mentoring enables a student to develop responsible decision making skills, deeper relationships within their family, improved grades/attendance in school, and potentially a rewarding journey into the future as a responsible young adult in their community.
Life Bridge's program involves students age 12-18 currently enrolled in school, including home schoolers. Our staff and mentors encourage students to do well by becoming involved in all aspects of the student's academic life, including sports, drama, and extra curricular clubs.
In cooperation with UNH's Carsey Institute, Life Bridge conducted a comprehensive study on how mentoring efforts have affected the students and families we serve. Click here to see the entire report and the findings.
Life Bridge currently serves the following schools:
SAU 35 - Profile Middle School, Bethlehem, NH
Superintendent: Paul MacMillan
Principal: Michael Kelley www.profile.k12.nh.edu
Kingswood Regional School District, Wolfeboro, NH
High School Principal: Guy Donnelly
Middle School Principal: Rusty Ross
Vo-Tech Principal: Steve Guyer www.govwenthworth.k12.nh.us
"I am extremely proud of the District's association with Life Bridge and know that you will find them to be a caring, responsible and effective resource."
- John B. Robertson, Superintendent of Schools
Gov. Wentworth School District, SAU 49
Life Bridge's vision is to give students hope, keep them off drugs and alcohol, help curb teenage pregnancy, and to provide good choices in a positive environment. Healthy adults invest hours into students' lives in nurturing one-to-one relationships and faith-based community support.
High school students in New Hampshire experience many different things today that may be different from when we were kids. Here are some statistics from the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey that may surprise you:
22% of students have been bullied on school property in the past 12 months
4.7% of students in the 12 mos prior to this survey attempted suicide
68.5% of students had at least 1 alcoholic drink on 1+ days during their life
40.5% of students used marijuana one or more times during their life
46% of students stated they have had sexual intercourse
Our staff and mentors are background checked and trained. Quarterly mentor training sessions keep mentors in touch with our staff and provide mentors with a support system. Mentors track weekly meetings on MentorPro software. LB staffers check in with mentors regularly as situations dictate (i.e., to check in on new match chemistry, to inform them of scheduled mentor/mentee oriented activities, or to discuss school progress reports).
Each mentor is working with students on a volunteer basis. They are commissioned as mentors to spend time with mentees for at least 90 minutes each week and to provide a safe environment for the student during their scheduled times.
The role of a mentor is to:
Provide a safe place
Show up consistently
Speak into their life
Teach life skills and hobbies
Act on cases of mandatory reporting
Help in resolving conflict
Provide mentoring resources and be a resource
Act as liaison when necessary between parent and mentor
Be available to mentees
Just hang out with mentee
What benefits could come of my child having a mentor in their life?
Improved attendance in school
More personal responsibility
Involvement in healthy extra curricular activities
Making healthier lifestyle choices
How do you get your teen involved in Life Bridge activities?
Please contact our office directly by calling (603) 651-3271 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We will connect you to the proper area director who will provide you with information and answer your questions. The process involves getting to know your child and their specific needs while connecting a staff member to the student in school and engaging them in Life Bridge events to get to know us better.
"Life Bridge, Inc. and their staff has been a valuable asset to our school and community. They have impacted a number of students in a very positive way."
- Paul MacMillan, Principal
Kingswood Regional High School
Having a mentor in your life means someone cares and wants to listen to you! It could mean receiving help in making a decision about school, encouraging you through a tough test or tryout, providing homework help, learning a new skill or hobby together, helping you to learn how to make an impression to land a summer job, answering your questions about your college goals, or many other valuable life skills. A mentor will guide you to make better decisions, listen while you talk, do the things you enjoy most, and may even show you how to enjoy something new... something you never thought you'd enjoy.
Why have a mentor in my life?
A mentor is a trusted friend who will be there for you in good times and bad.
He/she is a person who will listen to you and will not give up on you when life gets hard.
A mentor can help teach you new things and is eager to help you grow in the things that you are interested in. (Often times, a mentee teaches the mentor something new - like a dance or a video game!)
What's my job as a mentee?
Make a sincere effort to meet weekly with your mentor for 90 min/week. It is important to try to be consistent the entire year.
Be respectful of each other's time/commitment
Communicate often about meeting times and try to meet when it works best for both of you
Be honest - a mentoring relationship is built on trust and things are "okay" speaking your mind
Work through challenges together rather than giving up easily - stick with it!
How do I get connected with Life Bridge?
Students can ease into getting involved by joining in a group activity. Live in the Lakes Region and like things like movies, paintball, hiking, snowmobiling or boating? We often have group outings for those who want to learn more about mentoring through the Life Bridge staff. Lauren and Andy would love to get to know you.
Call or email today... email@example.com. Phone 603.651-3271. Ask your guidance counselor at school for more info about Life Bridge as well.
**All participation must be approved by your parents... print this Permission Slip.
"Thanks for giving me the opportunity to get involved with a great program. It's helped me so much to have people to talk to and to be a friend to."
Students are fighting against incredible odds, whether they have addictive tendencies or parents who do, struggle to understand where they fit in, or lack confidence in where their future is. Through a positive mentoring experience, students have improved attitudes, confidence, better grades, less urges to engage in risky behaviors, and a sense that they can succeed in life. Parents feel less stress when teens feel safe and secure. Life Bridge's goal is to help students achieve a secure sense of themselves and to improve personally as they journey through adolescence.
We are seeking mentors who are:
Passionate to see young people succeed
Committed, understanding, and flexible
Willing to make a one-year commitment 90 min/week
A willingness to share their life experiences
Able to provide a fun, safe environment
Able to attend periodic training sessions
If you can devote a time each week to a local student, please contact us. Call our offices at (603) 651-3271. We can answer your questions and refer you to the local area director. The process begins with filling out forms about your interests. We also check personal references, ask you to complete a criminal background check, and supply you with mentor training and follow up maintenance sessions.
It may soon become evident that your influence in a teen�s life can be a very rewarding experience. Often we hear "It's the best thing I've done in a very long time."
Mentor and Parent Resources
THE BE WITH FACTOR - Mentoring students in everyday life. By: Boshers & Poling (pub. 2006)
HURT - Inside the world of today's teenagers. By: Chap Clark (pub. 2004)
HELP! MY KIDS ARE HURTING - a Survival Guide to working with students in pain. By: Marv Penner (pub. 2005)
THE HEART OF MENTORING - Ten proven principles for developing people to their fullest potential. By: David Stoddard (pub 2003)
BOUNDARIES WITH TEENS - When to say yes. How to say no. By: Dr. John Townsend (pub. 2006)
TEENAGE GIRLS - Exploring issues adolescent girls face and strategies to help them. By: Ginny Olesen (pub. 2006)