Mentoring has provided young mom with rewarding experience
One day each week for an hour, Krysta Stevens heads to Kirn Middle School instead of heading to work, to meet with her TeamMates mentee, Sarah*.
When Krysta arrives at the school, she picks up her badge and meets her mentee in the guidance counselor’s office. Each time, Sarah picks out what activity they want to do that morning. Activity choices range from board games, crafts, playing basketball outside, heading to the gym or simply just talking.
Most days, they head to the library where they discuss what happened over the weekend, what is going on at school and at home.
When Krysta joined TeamMates, she was asked to fill out a questionnaire about her interests so that she matched with a child who had similar hobbies. They both enjoy the same sports, crafts and games.
“Every time I meet Sarah, I can see how excited she is for my visit. She is going through a lot of things in her childhood that I went through as well. It gives me great joy to be able to support her and listen to feelings. I didn’t have that support when I was younger so it makes me feel like I can make a real impact in her life.”
Krysta was matched with Sarah in December of 2015, while she was in the fourth grade. They have stayed together as a pair and she now is halfway through sixth grade.
In addition to weekly visits at school, mentors and mentees can attend special events together with other matches like going to a Creighton Game, Lancers Hockey Game or Disney on Ice. In a few weeks, Krysta and her mentee are going to a UNO men’s basketball game.
For events such as these, they meet at Wilson Middle School and ride a bus together to the event. It allows for a unique experience where mentee’s can make new friends and mentors can connect with other adults.
Due to the hard work and dedication from Traci Dresher, the Council Bluffs TeamMates Coordinator and Mindi Richardson, the TeamMates coordinator at Kirn, the program is alive and successful in the area. There are currently 176 TeamMates matches in the Council Bluffs Community School District across grades 3 – 12.
Annually, they work together to host a mentor appreciation lunch that they both look forward to. It’s a day for mentees to thank their mentors for their dedication.
Each mentee expresses why they appreciate their mentor and verbalize their special relationship along with gifting handmade cards, etc. It gives Sarah more time to connect with other mentees and Krysta time to network with other community members.
Krysta says she first became interested in TeamMates through her coworkers at TS Bank.
“I heard how much fun they were having and how rewarding being a mentor was. A lot of people say what a great thing it is for a child, but it’s also an amazing experience to be a mentor. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and you’re so proud of the relationship you build with your mentee.”
When they first met, Krysta did not have any children of her own but has since married and had a baby boy Westin, now a sixth-month old.
“This experience has made me a better mom, now and will in the future. I have a better idea how I will talk to my son if he needs to someone to listen.”
Krysta is able to dedicate her time during school hours because of the opportunity that TS Prosperity Group provides. She is given 52 hours of paid volunteer-time-off (VTO) each year. This is part of their mission to get all employees involved in the community.
TeamMates motto is to “transform lives.”
“The TeamMates program really aligns with what I do every day at my job. I truly feel that I help families with their financial lives and help create prosperity in our community,” said Stevens. “They go hand in hand.”
Even more so because each year TS Bank and TS Prosperity Group donate to the TeamMates capital campaign and in 2017 alone, reinvested $5,000 to the non-profit.
TeamMates began in 1991 with the vision of University of Nebraska Head Football Coach Tom Osborne and his wife Nancy. January is National Mentoring Month so it’s the perfect time to get involved. Learn more on their website at TeamMates.org.
Krysta currently serves as Operations Specialist for the TS Prosperity Group. She resides in Carson with her husband and child. In addition to volunteering, she enjoys spending time with family, crafting, DIY projects and remodeling her home.
At TS Prosperity Group, we IGNITE PROSPERITY® by helping our clients do more with their money. Whether it’s saving a little extra cash each month or accomplishing a long-term strategy, our goal is to help you transform your financial life. Call and schedule an appointment today, one of our team members would love to help you do more with your money at TS Prosperity Group. TS Prosperity Group is based in Council Bluffs, Iowa, with clients across the midwest. For more information visit tsprosperitygroup.com or call 844-487-3115. #igniteprosperity
Pictured above: Krysta Stevens and son, photography courtesy of Get Kara’d Away with Stephanie
*For these purposes, we’ve called Krysta’s mentee Sarah, to keep her privacy protected.