The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Making a difference


The mentoring program TeamMates is not only making a difference to students in Sidney, but also to people across the globe.

At the annual "Fun Day" celebration held on Wednesday at the Sidney High School and Thursday at West Elementary, the program participants assembled kits to send to countries fighting the Ebloa virus.

The activity that was chosen for this year's event was an outreach program called Heart to Heart. The Heart to Heart program is an outreach program that brings health care, humanitarian development and crisis relief around the globe. Students collected donations such as, hand towels, washcloths, combs, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, band-aids, and resealable bags.

The Mentoring Program was founded in 1994 and began in Sidney 2011 in an effort to bring support and encouragement to school age children. The program serves students in grades five through twelve, at West Elementary, Sidney Middle School, and Sidney High School. Students nominate themselves and have parent permission to participate in the program.

TeamMates mentors are positive examples in students lives providing them with support and friendship. Mentors are volunteers and meet with their mentee in a school setting an hour a week for a minimum of a year. Having that one on one time the pair spend their hour playing games, reading and discussing books, making crafts or just talking. The school offers the media center, gym and home education rooms for the programs use.

Mentor Liesl Bauer said when you become a mentor you stay with the student you are paired with until they graduate. She has been with her mentee, Montana Huls, for two years. "The best part of the program is getting to know her (Montana) and building that rapport." said Bauer.

TeamMates also encourages students beyond High School offering planning for after high school graduation, scholarship opportunities, and mentoring for mentees pursuing more education or training after graduation.

The seniors graduating this year are the first set to graduate with member in the TeamMates program said Emily Thomas, who is the coordinator at the Sidney High School.

Joshua Harmon, Austin Jacobsen, and Colin Renkert all received local scholarships from the Sidney TeamMates program. Renkert was also awarded the Concordia University TeamMates Mentoring Program Scholarship.The Graduates we recognized at Wednesday's TeamMates fun day at the Sidney High School.

The program has participants in Currently participating in Nebraska and Iowa, as well as in San Diego, California helping more then 7,000 youth. There are 139 mentors and mentees in the Sidney area with a list of 25 students waiting for mentors.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor or for more information about the TeamMates program please visit http


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