TeamMates playing critical role during pandemic

The end of this unusual school year is in sight and one thing that’s clear is the critical role that TeamMates mentors have played in the lives of students.

“They need the support of a mentor now more than ever,” said TeamMates Mentoring of Lincoln Coordinator Jim Bennett. “These are very strange and unique times that we are in and the TeamMates volunteer mentors have stepped up to the challenge and have been there for these kids.”

The numbers back that up. As of mid-March, there were 381 mentor-mentee matches who were meeting via Zoom, with a total of 3,449 Zoom meetings so far this school year. There are more than 700 in-person matches who have met more than 6,500 times.

One of those matches is Lincoln Southeast High School junior Andru and his mentor, Chris, who were recently named the March TeamMates of the Month. They’ve been matched since Andru was in third grade.

“I’m just grateful he’s taking time out of his day and busy work schedule to see me once a week,” Andru said.

It’s not exactly a chore, Chris said.

“It’s fun. He’s good company and I like him as a person - it’s just enjoyable.”

Bennett said he has heard many stories and talked with students about what their mentors mean to them. At the end of last school year, TeamMates surveyed mentees and 100 percent said they trusted their mentor. Those results would likely be the same at the end of this school year.

“That trust and belief by the student in their mentor has helped them succeed this school year despite the challenges they have faced during the pandemic,” he said.

And there’s always a need for more mentors. Visit for more information.

Published: April 6, 2021, Updated: April 6, 2021