Extra Special Mentorship Stands the Test of Time


    As we wrap up National Mentoring Month, we want to thank the many volunteers who are making a positive difference, one student at a time. Also, hats off to organizations like Empower Youth Network who partner with our school counselors to coordinate and train mentors. Below is a special shout-out to an extra-special mentor duo that has stood the test time!  


    Michael & Mycael – Then and Now


    Mike and Mycael in 2018Michael “Mike” Patton grew up in this area, and as an adult, he wanted to do something to give back the community. A colleague introduced him to the Youth Success! Mentor program, and since his work schedule was somewhat flexible, he applied to become a mentor. He was “matched” with then 3rd Grader Mycael Flood who attended Opstad Elementary. That was six years ago!  (Photo from 2018, at right.)


    Today, they continue to meet each week throughout the school year, playing games and chatting for an hour at Twin Falls Middle School, where Mycael is now in 8th grade.


    “It’s been a good match,” explained mentor Mike. “We have some similarities with our background, and both like to play cards and games. Communication was pretty slow at first, as Mycael was a pretty shy kid, but now we share lots of laughs. He even taught me how to play chess!”


    Mycael added, “One of my favorite memories was showing him card tricks in the 4th grade. It’s been fun seeing him every week.”  Both are also grateful to be meeting in person again, since COVID zoom calls made it challenging to connect and engage.


    Mike & Mycael 2023“As a volunteer, it’s been fulfilling to get to know and spend time with him over the years,” said Mike.  He also shared that this year is bitter-sweet, since Mike plans to move out of state this summer. “I’m really going to miss him.”  


    Currently, there is a waiting list of students throughout all our schools who could benefit from a consistent adult mentor relationship.  According to Mike, there’s a need for male mentors, especially. 


    If you know an adult who would make a great mentor and can commit one hour a week during the school year, please encourage them to apply at: Youth Success! Mentoring in SVSD. If you have questions, please email Kathy Hyland with Empower Youth Network regarding opportunities with SVSD students.