“The mission of Partners is to empower youth and community members to achieve their full potential through mentoring, prevention education, and strategic partnership.” After our 2020 mission and brand update, we could not have expected how the impacts of COVID-19 would put our revised mission statement to the test. With increased health risks and public safety needs, our School-Based Mentoring and Prevention Education Programs lost their normal connection to students and families through the in-person school setting. While we have been able to adapt and find creative ways to continue offering services through these programs, it became more and more apparent that there was a need for additional and alternative kinds of support.
Thanks to Partners’ longstanding relationships with our neighboring community agencies, we were given the opportunity to partner with The Matthews House and our local Boys and Girls Club to support some of Poudre School District’s virtual learning students. During the final month of the Fall Semester, I and two other Partners staff members spent one day a week at Poudre High School, offering in-person academic support to students. These select students were invited to spend their virtual school day at the high school due to a need for access to reliable technology, a different learning environment, or additional guidance to empower their academic success. We were able to come along side students and use our individual skills to help them with their projects and assignments, not to mention offering external motivation and problem-solving skills. I never thought I would need to think about Lord of the Files again, or revisit freshman biology, let alone learn how to use video editing software! As many students were facing the end of the semester with failing grades and long lists of missing assignments, we were able to help empower them in working with their teachers and taking advantage of the resources available to them to go from failing to passing.
We are so grateful for the partnership through this program with The Matthews House, Boys and Girls Club, and Poudre School District. We plan to continue working with them to empower the youth and families of our community in whatever ways possible as we all do our best to continue moving forward while keeping health and safety the priority.
-Bailey Dutko, School-Based Program Manager