Ripple Effect: Best Friends Mentorship Program Seeks More Mentors
With the end of the coming school year, BFMP has received many referrals. BFMP chief executive Angie Rabbitt noted that the organization could use more adult male mentors for boys who have been on the waiting list for some time.
For one hour per week, mentors have the ability to make a difference in the life of their mentee.
“Mentorship works and in some cases it’s a lifeline,” Rabbitt said. “All it takes is a caring adult to take an interest and invest a little time in a young person‘s life to change their course forever. Whether it’s attending a basketball game, a weekly school lunch, or just checking in, the smallest investment in a young person’s life translates into some of the payoffs. the most importants. This investment benefits not only the child, but also their mentor and the community in which they live.
Executive Director Angie Rabbitt of the Best Friends Mentorship Program is pictured. (Contributed / Angie Rabbitt)
Since January, the program has been under the new leadership of Rabbitt, who replaced longtime chief executive Kris Fehr after his retirement.
“During my short time with Best Friends, I discovered that this organization has a solid foundation. Thanks to the passionate staff, committed Board of Directors, committed donors and selfless volunteers, he remains active in our community, ”noted Rabbitt. “We are determined to overcome all challenges posed by the pandemic, and our goal is to continue to grow and prosper as a quality mentoring program.”
Over a year ago, Rabbitt moved to Dickinson from her hometown of Baker, MT, where she served as Director of Recreation for over 12 years. While in Montana, she administered Baker’s elementary after-school program and other youth activities, sports leagues, and helped organize community events.
“With my past experience as a mentor, in youth programming and event planning as well as my lifelong passion to serve others, especially children, I take on this role to lead our team in the pursuit of our mission to make a positive difference in children and families. one at a time, ”Rabbitt said. “Best Friends has built an exceptional reputation over the past 25 years, and I am honored to be able to serve Southwest North Dakota in this capacity. ”
Prior to assuming the leadership role, Rabbitt volunteered as a mentor for eight years with the Big Brothers / Big Sisters program.
“This experience has been very enriching for me and has helped me realize that small influences can have a significant effect on a child’s growth and development,” she said.
The BFMP operates under the auspices of the Western Wellness Foundation Inc., which began in July 1994 following a group of mental health professionals from Dickinson who saw the need for a community youth program. , according to its website.
“Our program gives our participants the opportunity to share simple and everyday moments with each other. It has been shown to increase self-esteem, communication skills, a more positive attitude towards school, and decreased truancy, drugs and alcohol, ”Rabbitt said. “When a child feels good about himself, the ripple effect is incredible: he has a positive influence on his friends, at school and in his community. Our mentors earn what I like to call “psychic income”. There is nothing more rewarding than watching a child overcome a challenge and knowing that you played a small part in it. ”
To learn more about BFMP or to complete a mentorship application, visit besfriendsnd.org or call 701-483-8615 for more information.