Archive for August, 2009

Profile in Cross Age Mentoring: Megan Brunello

August 31, 2009

Tehama County Mentoring Program’s Americorps*VISTA member, Suzanne Seesman, has been expanding the Cross Age Mentoring Program since she began her VISTA service year in December 2008. During that time, Red Bluff High School student Megan Brunello has become a well-respected and appreciated cross-age mentor. She has been mentoring for two years now at a SERRF program in Red Bluff. Suzanne caught up with Megan to learn more about her.

meganinterviewSuzanne writes: Megan Brunello is one of Tehama County Mentoring Program’s Cross-Age Mentors.   She is a high school student who has shown a lot of dedication helping her mentee, a younger student in our community, learn and grow.  Mentoring is only one of the several ways that Megan is active in and around Red Bluff and I wanted to know what motivates her to do well and be a young leader.  At the end of this summer I had the chance to discuss mentoring with Megan and I wanted to let our readers of all ages in on the conversation.

Suzanne: Megan what is your favorite….

Food: Italian

Movie: “The Family Stone”

Kind of music: country

Game or activity to do with your mentee: drawing

Megan, you have been mentoring for two years now.   How did you find out about mentoring?

I found out about it in the bulletin at school.

What compelled you to become a mentor?

I like kids and I wanted to help out someone who needs my help.

What brought you back to mentoring after your first semester?

I really liked working with my mentee and seeing the kids learning, adapting and getting better at the things they’re working on.

Aside from mentoring what are some of the activities you’re into outside of school?

Swimming and 4H

What is your favorite subject in school?


Are you thinking about college?


What are you interested in studying?


Where would you like to go?

I’m not sure yet.

 As a mentor your goal is to have a positive effect on a younger student’s life.   You have definitely been a great mentor. Do you think being a mentor has had an effect on your life?

Yes. I think so.  It helps me become better at talking to people.  It helps me to get over being shy.

What advice, if any, would you give other high school students who are interested in mentoring?

I think mentoring is fun and is good for you.  You get to work with kids and see how they work in their own environment.  I think it’s a good experience. 

Thank you for sharing your time and experience Megan!

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Back to School for Lunch Buddies!

August 17, 2009

_DAN0164 mitchThe backpacks are stuffed with new school supplies, haircuts have been had and fussed-over outfits hang in closets for a dynamic first impression. Yep, it’s the first week of school in Tehama County!

 That means it’s time for Lunch Buddies to start back up with their mentees after a summer off…..and for new mentors to join the successful program. Lunch Buddy mentors meet once a week during the school year on campus with their mentee. They utilize the school lunch break as an opportunity to share conversation. Both mentor and mentee provide their own lunch.

 The program was designed for busy professionals who wanted an opportunity to mentor during a fixed time period. It’s also appealed to parents who wish to mentor other children, but can’t commit to extra time outside the school day due to their own family obligations.

 Mentors may choose a school location based on proximity to their home or work. Students at each school in the county are waiting for the caring ear of a mentor. One lunch hour a week can make a huge difference in the life of a child.

Cross Age Mentoring

August 11, 2009

“Becoming a mentor is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I have seen huge changes in (my mentee) from the way she communicates with others to the way she presents herself.”

-Sofia Trejo, Cross Age Mentor

Sofia wrote these words on her final paperwork for the mentoring program about three years ago. It is no surprise to anyone that she is now a college student and her mentee is preparing to start advanced high school classes.

The Cross Age Mentoring Program offers a tremendous opportunity for high school students to capitalize on their “coolness” to the benefit of an elementary student in need of academic support. There is a magical connection between high school and elementary students that lends its self to mentoring. A teenager can have a tremendous influence on a younger student, and the Cross Age Mentoring Program channels that influence in a positive manner.

With a new school year gearing up, it’s time to build our force of Cross Age Mentors. High school students are invited to apply to the program through our office at the Department of Education. Mentors must commit to at least one day a week after school for an entire semester at a SERRF site of their choice. They are welcome to mentor more days than one. Mentors remain with the same mentee for the semester.

Cross Age Mentor Coordinator Suzanne Seesman will be on campus at Red Bluff, Corning and Los Molinos High Schools once school begins, but students are welcome to apply directly to our office prior to her visits. We welcome students from public, private, charter and home schools.