Beaver Duster Mentoring Program
Years Matched: Six
Olene Hale is a retired community volunteer and has been a dedicated mentor to Phoebe for the past six years.
“When Olene first started mentoring with our program, she thought she wanted to be matched with an older elementary age child,” said Linda Downing, coordinator of the Beaver Duster Mentoring Program. “But Phoebe was a first grader who really needed a mentor. Olene agreed to give it a whirl, and it has been a delight to observe. Their relationship today is as close as any grandparent and grandchild.”
Hale and Phoebe love spending time together, especially doing crafts. Hale and Phoebe also spend time together outside the regular program, attending church together and baking cookies at home.
Phoebe shared, “it means a lot to me that we have done so many amazing things together. From going to see movies to going camping with Olene in Missouri. Just being with her for the past six years has made a huge difference to me. I love her to death and never want to let her go.” Hale replied, “The love of a child is priceless. We truly love one another and are really good friends.”
About the Program: Beaver Duster Mentoring Program, launched in October 2014, matches community volunteer mentors and high school student peer mentors with elementary students. Among various activities, the mentor-mentee matches play board and physical games and do crafts. Some mentors also volunteer for additional reading with students, and some mentor high school students.