Dear Shepherds Friend,
The start of 2022 brings with it a feeling of a fresh start, and I don’t think it is just this very chilly weather! We have a great many exciting things to look forward to in the new year.
Firstly, Shepherds is excited to announce that Shepherds Alumna Gina Garzon, Shepherds/Trinity High School Class of 2005, will be joining the Shepherds board of Directors. Gina will be a great resource to our program. The entire Shepherds community welcomes her talents, experience, and ideas.
Over the past two years, the Shepherds team and community has perfected our motto of, ‘Adapt, Innovate and Overcome.” The new year gives us another chance to build on what we’ve experienced and learned and do a better job at accomplishing our education, social, and development goals.
- Education: Our school partners, in particular, have adapted and overcome. Kudos to them for achieving the priority of what is most important and most at risk for our young people. Both of our partner schools are back fully in-person in the classroom, following appropriate health safety protocols and precautions, and being flexible as needed for individual circumstances.
- Our Shepherds Liaisons are closely tracking academic performance and intervening swiftly with helpful guidance and support as we approach the end of the first semester. All mentors are welcome to reach out to either Lisa Matson (KCHS) or Martie Giammatteo (NDWH) if they have concerns.
- Social: On top of academic support, each school’s liaison is organizing fun student-mentor activities to encourage the post-holiday re-connection of our student-mentor teams. Recognizing the challenges that Omicron presents, flexibility and potential rescheduling are part of their game plans and will be communicated in advance. I encourage mentors and students to make the effort if all parties feel safe in the settings planned for events.
- Development: There are two critical elements in addition to our students and their families that keep Shepherds going: Mentors and Money. This month we begin our recruiting process for mentors and financial sponsors for the Shepherds Class of 2026. We also begin the process of identifying prospective Shepherds students for this Class with our partner schools.
I invite all members of the Shepherds community to think about and invite any friends, family members, work colleagues whom they think might be interested in joining the Shepherds team as a mentor or a financial sponsor to contact me or Jane MacDonald to discuss the opportunity. KCHS mentors are welcome to invite a mentor “candidate” to our Mentor Appreciation event on Feb 10. See below for more information.
Thank you to all mentors, students, families, our partner schools, and supporters for continuing to be such generous and considerate believers in the Shepherds’ mission. You are truly changing lives!