Basehor-Linwood School District

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Basehor-Linwood Mentors & Care Cats » What is a Mentor?

What is a Mentor?

You could be a MENTOR! Since 1999, we are volunteers making a difference, one child at a time, in USD 458. We welcome our community to mentor in our classrooms through this successful, award-winning, and unique program.

District Coordinator Tammy Potts partnered initially with another volunteer, Mary Leonard, to unify district volunteers when we were known formerly as YouthFriends and YouthFriends Corps "Care Cats". Their hard work was recognized nationally within Eckerd's Top 100. The program grew in 1999-2000 from an original 40 adult mentors to over 125 active adult mentors, who return each year. For those who start new jobs and can't make it back inside the classroom, eMentoring is a great option. Our CareCats have grown from a little over a dozen to over 150 juniors and seniors serving each semester.

Basehor-Linwood Mentors and CareCats reach nearly 1,000 Basehor Linwood students who have matching adult or high school mentors. This happens as one on one, small groups, or classroom K-12. In May, they are honored with the President's Volunteer Service Awards for outstanding service. The district's Crystal Award was first bestowed upon Basehor's Gold Pride for school performances and classroom plays on good character role modeling. YouthFriends-Kansas and Basehor Linwood USD 458 are past recipients of the Kansas Education Community Partner Award. Basehor-Linwood Mentors and CareCats have been honored in 2014 through participation in the Celebrating Mentors state-wide event at the University of Kansas, Kivisto Field. Mrs. Potts and Kendra Otterman, mentee, attended in addition to Ellen Green, Mentor and Jim Wilson, Mentor. STEM Mentor Larry Schmitendorf and Basehor Intermediate student mentee Aidan Sullivan represented USD 458 during half-time of the K-State University and KU football game last fall in Manhattan.

Since 2001, students begin each school year with a "Welcome Back YouthFriends" district poster contest. This recruiting tool helps children understand what the program is about, and also, is a creative outlet for some amazing artists. Our winners are recognized at the local and state level. The highlight of the year is the art exhibit display at the state capitol in Topeka. The VIRTUAL EXHIBIT link is on this webpage, and the posters can be seen up close and personal at both Basehor Community Library and Linwood Community Library in March, spring break.

For more information about becoming a MENTOR and CareCat in the Basehor-Linwood School District, contact:
Tammy Potts
Basehor-Linwood Mentors and CareCats District Coordinator
2108 N. 155th St.
Basehor, KS 66007
(913) 724-1727, Located inside Basehor-Linwood High School/Basehor-Linwood Virtual School