Michelle Petix: 2B — the power of one | SteamboatToday.com

Michelle Petix: 2B — the power of one

The Partners in Routt County's youth mentoring programs are based on the power of one-on-one relationships. Research strongly supports the positive impact of mentoring across all ages, demographics and geography … it is embraced and celebrated in the corporate world, sport stadiums, schools and communities.

Education is the most empowering force in the world. It creates knowledge, builds confidence and breaks down barriers to opportunity. Partners' school-based mentoring combines the mentoring force with the educational setting. The program places qualified, trained mentors in schools where they are tasked with creating meaningful mentoring relationships with their target students.

Developed in 2000 through a collaboration with Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, the school-based program has served in 10 schools, created and supported over 1,000 mentoring relationships, served 6,000-plus youth through after-and in-school programming and service learning projects. Many of the AmeriCorps members who moved to Routt County to serve in the school-based program have stayed and became teachers, counselors and other valuable community members.

None of this would be possible without ongoing support from the Steamboat Springs Education Fund. In addition to the education fund dollars that are vital to keeping the program operating, Partners has leveraged this local support to access significant federal and state funding.

The half cent on $1 has collectively provided our schools and community groups the capacity to support educational success for every one of Routt County's students. The school-based mentor program is just one of the many ways voting "yes" on 2B will support students and teachers. In their own words:

“The school-based mentor program provides invaluable resources to teachers who, despite their best efforts, can’t be all things to all students … (Our school-based mentor program) is and was a breath of fresh air to our entire school. Her dedication and compassion showed on her students’ faces whenever they interacted with her.”

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“I would strongly recommend the school-based mentor program, as I see the positive impact of adults working with students on a one-on-one basis.”

What was the best thing about having a mentor? “Everything.” “Best thing ever.”

Be the power of one vote — vote “yes” on 2B.

Michelle Petix

Partners in Routt County executive director

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