CVU expands Connecting Youth Mentoring Program

The Connecting Youth Mentoring program is expanding at CVU. This rewarding experience benefits the mentors and mentees.
The Connecting Youth Mentoring program is expanding at CVU. This rewarding experience benefits the mentors and mentees.

Since the start of the new school year, mentoring coordinator Amanda Payne has been working hard to launch an expansion of the Connecting Youth Mentoring Program at Champlain Valley Union High School.

CY is a community-based organization whose mission is to promote a culture that develops in youth the power and conviction to make healthy choices. The primary purpose is to encourage a “no-use” community norm around alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use by young people.

When asked “Why now?” CY Director Christine Lloyd-Newberry responded that “CSSU students have very limited access to formal mentoring services after eighth grade, and those who want to continue beyond that point are frequently unable to maintain the relationship due to lack of existing programs or other supports.” She continued, “With the long-standing success of our nationally recognized middle school program, it only makes sense for us to support those relationships through high school. We are so excited to see this program take off.”

In its first year, the program at CVU will work with already established mentoring pairs transitioning from middle to high school.

In subsequent years, they will begin to identify new mentoring relationships for students already in high school. Committed and caring adult volunteers are paired with students from the high school to form intentional, supportive, and fun relationships by spending quality time together throughout the year.

“Mentoring research is clear: youth with mentors are less likely to engage in high-risk behavior, are more likely to develop positive relationships with peers and adults, and to grow up to become productive and engaged members of their community,” Payne said.  She came to CY with more than a decade of experience facilitating and coordinating programs for youth and young adults worldwide, and has worked with youth of all ages from a variety of backgrounds and is strongly committed to mentoring youth in the community.

In addition to all its volunteers and supporters, CY is supported by Mobius, Vermont’s Mentoring Partnership; Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation; and Shelburne Charlotte Hinesburg Interfaith Projects.

For more information about the CY mentoring program at CVU, contact Amanda Payne at 802-522-0613 or; or Christine Lloyd-Newberry at 802-383-1211 or

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