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Mentors honored
2 February 2006

BISMARCK (UTN) - Two mentoring relationships at Theodore Jamerson Elementary School (TJES) were recognized January 25 as part of a mentor recognition ceremony at the State Capitol in Bismarck.

Tom Yellow Bird and Byron Everette
Tom Yellow Bird, a TJES paraprofessional aide, mentors Byron Everette, a fifth grade student. Both were recognized with certificates at the state capitol during North Dakota's observance of "Thank Your Mentor" Day. UTN photos Dennis J. Neumann

      TJES students Cleveland Good Shield, grade eight, and Byron Everette, grade five, along with their mentors, were among 50 people honored during North Dakota's observance of "Thank Your Mentor" Day.

      "A mentor is a wise and trusted guide," said North Dakota first lady Mikey Hoeven, in a speech thanking mentors for their contributions. "Mentors are good listeners who care and help others draw on their strengths.they build a solid, one-on-one relationship based on trust."

      Those recognized were teen leaders, elders and Native Americans from tribal and rural communities around the state involved in the North Dakota Tribal-Rural Mentoring Partnership.

      Good Shield is mentored by Aaron Chalmers, a medical student who participates in a mentoring program of the University of North Dakota School of Medicine's Bismarck branch.

Aaron Chalmers, Cleveland Good Shield, first lady Mikey Hoeven
Cleveland Good Shield, TJES grade eight, steps forward to receive a recognition certificate from North Dakota first lady Mikey Hoeven. Cleveland's mentor, Aaron Chalmers, a UND Medical Student, is at left.

      Everette's mentor is Tom Yellow Bird, a paraprofessional aide at his grade school on the United Tribes Technical College campus. The TJES mentoring program is coordinated by school counselor Barb Danks.

      Five-hundred mentor relationships are underway in the state, according to Mark LoMurray, director of the partnership project. Many of the programs measure their success against the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program founded over 100 years ago, he said.

      "Our goal is to have ten-thousand mentor relationships underway by the year 2010," said LoMurray. "Mentoring has a tremendous impact on young people in the healthy relationships that are created."

      "The power of a kind word is immeasurable and everlasting," said Hoeven, who presented certificates of appreciation.

      January was national Mentor Recognition Month.

      For more information about mentoring: Mark LoMurray 701-471-7186, Project Director, ND Tribal-Rural Mentoring Partnership.


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