Success Stories

The following short stories were submitted by Site Coordinators from across the State of Utah.

 

Goal: Improve Academic Performance

"A breakthrough experience is that one of the mentors received a call from his youth's teacher, letting him know the youth did very well on a test they had in school.  That same youth worked really hard on a project and received praises from school and home."

A mentor was talking to his youth about college and the youth now shows great interest in doing all he can to get into college when he graduates from high school.

A young boy needed someone to keep up with him. Highly active, he struggles with focusing his attention. His mentor has worked with him trying to increase his attention span.  He also has trouble reading and speaking correctly. There has been an effort made to help him with his reading skills with much of the interaction time spent reading Dr. Suess and other children’s books.

 

He had more than half of his homework for math done in class. This is not a common thing for him and it was a lot of fun to see him on a roll like that and excited about it.

 

We were reading and I could tell she had improved a lot since we first began.

 

He is getting caught up with his reading points. He feels good about moving forward and the competition of catching up.

 

Quotes that I have heard from students and faculty are these:

”I am already doing better in school.” 

“Mr. (teacher) and Mr. (teacher) said they are proud of me.” 

“My grades are higher!”  

“I missed the program when I was gone.”  

“I like this a lot!”  

“I have noticed huge improvements with the kids that are in your 4-H program that are in my classes.”

“We have seen tremendous change for the better in these 4-H kids.”

“I want to show her (my mentor) this math test that I took last week. She helped me study for it and I got a 91%! My mom was so happy, but not as happy as I am.  My mentor has helped me so much!”

“I hated reading because it is hard. My mentor helped me understand that reading is fun.”

“I love my mentor! He’s the coolest! “

 

 

Goal: Increase Interpersonal Competence

 A mother of the youth told me her child has improved in every area in his life.  The family moved out of town and the mentor did not have a car; the parents have been willing to bring the child into town each week to meet with the mentor.

We were able to give the mentos a kit to use for the summer.   It included postcards and ideas to send to the youth.  They ahve beena ble to keep in touch with they youth while they were away and it has been fun for the kids.

"Her mentor has brought out the most and best change in her (my daughter)."  She is a kind and gentle friend to a deeply hurt little girl.  The mother of  this little girl loves the mentor for her daughter and loves that her daughter is so much happier.

I am very pleased with a few of my families.  They are now regulars, and we have really developed a good relationship.  Another family who was not really coming to Family Nights Out have come diligently the last few months.  One mother loves the program so much, she wanted to know how she could work for us. If anything comes up, I think she would be an amazing asset.  This family participated in the 4-H camp, and absolutely loved it!!! They were able to finally go on a trip all together, something they have not done in a long time, and they said they really got close to their kids.  They would not have been able to afford a trip like this, so they were very pleased!!!  They are really getting into the program.  We have also developed good relationships of trust and friendship.  I have some mentors that were diligent in keeping connected by letters and phone calls because they had to be out of town for the summer. 

 

One of our mothers was commenting on how she has noticed her girls have really blossomed as far as their social interactions since they became involved with 4-H YFP.  They used to be so incredibly shy that they hardly talked to other people.  They have really opened up and are much more social than they used to be.  She is very pleased.

 

We have also had a couple of our 4-H YFP parents who have taken on leadership roles in other community activities, partly due to the their involvement in YFP.

 

 

Goal: Strengthen Family Bonds and Decrease Family Dysfunction

 

 

 

 

At our Family Night Out, one of our new families seemed to be having a great time. I talked to the parents while they watched their daughter participate in the activity. They started talking and commented how much happier their daughter seems since she received a mentor and started the program. They thanked me and said that their family has been much happier since they started the program. He also commented, "This program has pushed us to be closer as a family."

A mother was very impatient with her child, but after getting to know the mentor and watching her be very positive with the child, she started treating the child with more respect. The child asked if she could have the mentor next year.  

The USU Extension intern ran the Family Night Out.  It was on family support.  Families worked together to create their own family shields and help each other through an obstacle course.  She did a great job and all in attendance really enjoyed it.

A happy and delightful child loves everything about her 4-H experience.  Her family struggles with English and has treasured the many life skills she has been learning through the Youth and Families with Promise.

Goal: Reduce and Prevent Youth Delinquent Behavior

The Family Night Out was in combination with a 4-H community event. We had some fun activities which educated people about 4-H and what it has to offer. YFP helped at this activity and encouraged the YFP youth and their families to participate in this fun evening.

           

The 4H Afterschool and Summer school program played a major role in reinforcing the lessons mentees learn during their weekly meetings with their mentors. In Afterschool and Summer school, youth see each other, share what they are doing and learning with their mentors, and encourage each other to be actively involved in the various 4-H YFP activities each month. The YFP program is improving each week as we continue to add new members and train them and encourage them in their mentoring relationships to build friendships that will improve their lives. Youths’ faces light up as their mentors take them to activities.

 

A grandmother was watching out for the then 4-H YFP youth while the youth’s mother was serving jail time. The youth is student director of her school play (as a sophomore); the mother now works for the college. 

 

 

Significant Mentee-Mentor Program Outcomes

We continue to be impressed with the quality of mentors volunteering to serve and the individuals hired as site coordinators.  The mentors chosen for the program seem very mature in their judgment and are so willing to assist in the lives of the identified youth and their families.  Youth mentoring, combined with 4-H activities, affords youth opportunities to build new skills; provides ongoing associations with responsible, caring adults; transitions youth into roles of leadership; and integrates youth into positive peer groups.  Volunteer mentors allow for the expansion of services at little additional cost.  Given the positive difference made in the lives of so many young individuals locally, collaborators and whole communities strive to add local support in so many ways to a program that is making such a difference.

 

Many of the site coordinators treat their duties as “more than a job” and have developed close relationships with the youth they serve.  There have been significant accomplishments in the lives of many individuals associated with the Youth and Families with Promise program. 

 

Two of our girls are now in Junior High and are ready to move out of our program.  They will be joining the Teen Council.  They have loved the 4-H program and have brought their siblings into the program as well.

 

A member of our local LIC shared in our monthly meeting with a large group that mentoring really does work.  A past youth in the 4-H YFP program, whom her son had mentored, recently stopped by and wanted to see his mentor to thank him for his help.  We also received praise for our local program from County commissioners and the local Sheriff at a County Commissioners’ meeting for the positive difference being made in the lives of individuals within the community.

 

The kids have had a lot of fun. The 4-H projects that we have done have all been very successful. They can cook, and sew, and now they are learning more about different cultures. So far they have learned about Ukraine, Spain, Ecuador, and Japan. They come ready to participate and learn.

 

The father of one of our youth makes a point of making sure I am aware of how much they appreciate the great mentor we assigned to their daughter.  He thanks me every time he sees me whether we’re at an activity or out in the community.  He has told me that his son is also being served by a mentoring program that focuses on mentally and physically disabled children/adults.  Even though the other program is great and helps his son, this father wanted me to know that ours is the only program that takes into account that the whole family should be involved.  He told me that his family really enjoys their daughter’s mentor and that the whole family can participate in activities and receive some of the great benefits that come along with having a good relationship with a mentor.