Boone County Mentorship Partnership Celebrates with Annual Gala | Across Indiana

The Boone County Mentoring Partnership (BCMP) prepares for its annual gala, celebrating all of the progress made over the past year.

Dinner is served and a short program will be shared by master of ceremonies Dustin Grove and keynote speaker and mentor Steve Haynes.

“This year our theme is ‘The Art of Mentorship’, so we asked students to create works of art that will be auctioned at the event,” said Matt Wilson, Executive Director of BCMP. “This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and brings in 20-25% of our total budget.”

Although “gala” might sound like a fancy word, Wilson said the atmosphere was very relaxed and not about black tie.

“One of the regular attendees said what he appreciates is that it’s authentic, and that’s what we want to keep in the DNA of our event, because that’s also the DNA of the organization and what we do,” Wilson said. “I don’t think there is a greater compliment for an event like this.”

BCMP has been serving young people in need of a mentor since 2015.

The organization offers three ways to receive help: through a mentor, the youth assistance program and the support program at the end of your studies.

The Graduation Coaching Program allows Principal Lori Schroeder to walk alongside students who need to set goals, plan for the future, and overcome the obstacles they must overcome to graduate and make plans for secondary education.

The youth assistance program (PAJ) is done by referral and introduces families to the resources available in their community. BCMP staff connect the family and track their progress, eventually withdrawing as the family gets back on solid ground.

The mentorship program pairs a young person with a caring adult who can spend at least four hours per month communicating with them.

BCMP serves the entire county; receive referrals or phone calls from families spanning from Zionsville to Advance and everywhere in between.

Plans don’t have to be expensive or even detailed.

BCMP strives to alert its student and adult matches to profitable or zero-cost events. They also created a network of people in the community to allow matches to experience things they might not have otherwise.

“We are able to get passes, for example Dull’s Tree Farm in Thorntown or our contact in Newfields can get us discounted tickets and we want to cover these events as much as possible if the mentor lets us know his plans,” Wilson said. “Our mentors are not looking for notoriety. They do it out of the goodness of their hearts and we don’t want to take advantage of their generosity.

A mentoring session can be as simple as going for walks together or working on college applications. The reason they are there is to show their support and to bond.

“We’ve been watching for almost seven years now, some of our first games staying together. There are stories in all areas,” Wilson said. “Some single mothers are looking for a grown man to mentor their son, some have encountered difficulty after difficulty. We try to work with the mentor to help them understand the trauma and their role. Just be a friend, be there for them. We’ve seen a lot of heartbreak and frustration, but we’re also seeing a lot of progress.

With more than 1,000 students in the county who need a mentor in their lives, Wilson said they can only serve about 10% of them. In order to increase their service, the organization needs more mentors, more staff and more funding.

“It’s surprising, even to me, that there are so many kids who can’t identify a mentor in their life. When we watch the news, see the things that students are going through right now, it’s imperative that we help them,” Wilson said. “It’s going to take more than just one of us; it will take the community as a whole.

Tickets are available now for Gala 2022: The Art of Mentoring on November 3. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. at the Golf Club of Indiana, 6905 S. 525 East, Whitestown. Individual tickets are $80; sponsored tables are also available for groups or companies.

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