Special celebration of mentoring collaboration for area youth

Volunteers from CY Mentoring at Shelburne Community School joined other mentoring programs in Chittenden County in celebrating Mentor Appreciation Night at Arts Riot in Burlington on Nov. 17. Shelburne attendees included (from left): Alice Brown (CY Mentoring Coordinator), and mentors Jane Zenaty, Linda Retchin, Barbara Bloom, Freda Nieters, Diana Burritt, Barbra Marden, Lisa Merrill, Eve Norris, Sally Hughes and Dawn Fragola.
Volunteers from CY Mentoring at Shelburne Community School joined other mentoring programs in Chittenden County in celebrating Mentor Appreciation Night at Arts Riot in Burlington on Nov. 17. Shelburne attendees included (from left): Alice Brown (CY Mentoring Coordinator), and mentors Jane Zenaty, Linda Retchin, Barbara Bloom, Freda Nieters, Diana Burritt, Barbra Marden, Lisa Merrill, Eve Norris, Sally Hughes and Dawn Fragola.

The Chittenden County Mentoring Network (CCMN) hosted an appreciation event for mentors and supporters of the local youth mentoring community at Arts Riot on Tuesday, Nov. 17.

Nearly 100 local volunteer mentors gathered together to celebrate mentoring and network with their colleagues in a relaxing setting. The event was sponsored by the United Way of Chittenden County, Wendell’s Furniture, and Mobius and the featured guest speaker was Madina Arbow, a 21-year-old mentee through the Spectrum mentoring program.

Ten mentors from the Connecting Youth Mentoring program at Shelburne Community School attended the event, including new volunteer Barbra Marden. “This Arts Riot event was such a fun evening,” said Marden. “I found the other mentors to be warm and engaging. It was wonderful to hear about the mentoring experience from other mentors from throughout the area.”

Fellow CY mentor Dawn Fragola also enjoyed the event as a returning volunteer. “I found this evening to be so inspirational, two years in a row,” said Fragola. “I’m so glad that I went.”

Marden and Fragola, along with the other attendees, heard an inspirational mentoring story from Arbow, who came to Vermont as a refugee when she was eight years old. Arbow benefited from the support of two different mentors who helped encourage her to achieve her goal of being the first person in her family to attend college.

The group was also served complimentary hors d’oeuvres, and the first 50 mentors were treated to a free drink by the Wagoner Libby Group, a realty partner of Keller Williams Vermont.

According to the “Mentoring Effect,” a study released in 2014 by MENTOR (The National Mentoring Partnership), one in three youth in Vermont will enter adulthood without having a formal or informal mentoring relationship with a caring adult. Based on an abundance of national research, having a mentor can enhance a young person’s learning skills and help him or her build resiliency and pro-social skills. Youth with mentors are less likely to engage in risky behavior with drugs and alcohol, and are more likely to develop positive relationships with peers and adults, and to grow up to become productive members of society.

The CCMN is a network of adult-to-youth mentoring programs in northwestern Vermont, supporting more than 1,000 mentor pairs. Mobius is Vermont’s Mentoring Partnership, a non-profit organization that provides support for nearly 150 mentoring program sites and 2,300 mentor pairs across the state. For more information about mentoring programs in the CCMN, and throughout Vermont, visit www.mobiusmentors.org.

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