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Mentors and mentees will enjoy an annual trip to a Chico Outlaws baseball game on Friday, July 8 at 7:00pm. This is free seat cushion night! The Mentoring Program has teamed up with the Chico Outlaws to turn the night into a fundraiser, too! The Tehama County Mentoring Program is selling tickets to the game for only $6. Half the proceeds will support the program.
For ticket information, please contact the program office at (530) 528-7242
Ten year old Nicole Lowe didn’t get to sleep in on her first day of spring break. The Bidwell School 4th grader was up and out the door on April 18 to experience life in a veterinarian’s office with her mentor, Wanda Schuler. The two took advantage of Nicole’s more flexible schedule to meet up with veterinarian Megan Fox-Chow and vet tech Ana Rodriguez at Valley Vet.
Nicole, a self described animal lover, had expressed to Schuler an interest in veterinary medicine. “Every animal that I come near, it just likes me,” says Nicole, “even if it’s a mean one.” As a mentor in the Tehama County Mentoring Program, Schuler sought out the opportunity to have Nicole spend some time with a female veterinarian.
“When I first heard Nicole say she wanted to be a veterinarian when she grew up, I thought to myself, that’s great but it will probably be something new next week and something else the week after that”, says Schuler, “When she mentioned the same goal a few times, I knew I wanted to give her the opportunity to experience the work close up. I chose Valley Veterinary Clinic because it is woman-owned and operated. That was important because I wanted Nicole to see women professionals in a career she has an interest in.”
When Nicole became a little squeamish observing a dog being spayed in the surgery room, Dr. Fox was quick to let her know that she too had gotten a little light headed observing her first animal surgery at her family vet’s when she was Nicole’s age. “And now look what I’m doing!” she said as she expertly stitched the dog back up.
Ana Rodriguez, who found an interest in veterinary medicine through the Regional Occupational Program at Corning High School, explained the variety of ways someone can enter the field without becoming a veterinarian. Rodriguez, a veterinary technician, has a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in Animal Science. She loves her job working with animals and appreciates the more regular hours she gets to keep as a vet tech. This gives her more time to spend with her own animals, cattle in Paskenta.
The Tehama County Mentoring program is administered by the Tehama County Department of Education. According to Amy Schutter, Director of Student Support Services, mentoring can help fill gaps in the educational system by engaging the community. “In times of decreased funding and opportunities for ROP and career exploration programs in schools, the Tehama County Mentoring Program is providing vocational mentoring and encouraging higher education. In the long run, this will help alleviate poverty and build a better workforce for our community.”
While Nicole ponders the opportunities in veterinary medicine available in her future, she’s pretty sure of a few things in her present. “I’m an animal whisperer, I guess,” she says. “That’s what my dad calls me.”
There’s that, and the support of a caring mentor.
The Tehama County Mentoring Program became the grateful recipient of a $750 donation from Pactiv Corporation at its Holiday Mentor Gathering, December 8, 2010. Pactiv Plant Manager and long-time mentor Mitch Brehm surprised Mentor Coordinator Melissa Mendonca at the event with the check and kind words about the power of mentoring in our community.
The Tehama County Mentoring Program appreciates the support of local businesses like Pactiv to promote mentoring and develop fun , meaningful activities for mentors and mentees in our community. When a business person actually becomes a mentor, as Mitch has, the impact is even more deeply felt. Thank you, Mitch Brehm and Pactiv Corporation!
Monday, June 28 was a late night for many of us in the Tehama County Mentoring Program. We made it down to Chico for our annual summer outing to a Chico Outlaws baseball game. Although the Outlaws lost to the Fullerton Flyers, they were gracious and accomodating at the photograph and autograph signing event after the game. Our students came home with autographed baseballs and loads of snapshots with players. Outlaws games have become a much-anticipated summer activity for mentors and mentees. We look forward to next year!