The Mission of TeamMates is to positively impact the world by inspiring youth to reach their full potential through mentoring. Established in 1991 by Tom and Nancy Osborne, TeamMates was formed in an effort to provide support and encouragement to school-aged youth. The goal is to see youth graduate from high school and pursue post-secondary education. TeamMates has touched the lives of thousands of youth and currently provides a mentor for close to 8,000 youth in more than 135 communities in Nebraska and Iowa.
The impact of the TeamMates match on the mentee is profound.
54% of mentees showed improved academic achievement after being matched with their mentor.
85% maintain or experience fewer disciplinary referrals at school.
75% maintained or had fewer unexcused absences.
More than 95% of mentees report that they are happy when they meet with their mentor, that their mentor talks to them about what they do well, they feel important when they are with their mentor and that they trust their mentor.
Data collection from Gallup’s Clifton Strengths Project has helped affirm what TeamMates had already believed
to be true:
- Strengths-based mentoring positively influences student engagement with school.
- Students in the control group who received no strengths training as part of their mentoring program were significantly less likely to strongly agree that they looked forward to seeing their mentor over time
- There is a positive correlation between a student looking forward to seeing their mentor and overall levels of hope, engagement and well-being.
TeamMates has been recognized as a “Best Practice” mentoring organization which means the structure, policy and procedures are in place for a safe and consistent program. TeamMates adheres to the Elements of Effective Practice which were developed by the National Mentoring Partnership as the national standards for running a quality mentoring program.
To support a mentor/mentee match, it costs the TeamMates Mentoring Program approximately $400 compared to the national average cost per match for mentoring programs of $1,000 to $2,000 per match. TeamMates is an effective and efficient mentoring organization due in part to its school-based match meeting venue, allowing for low-cost and in-kind support from participating school districts which keeps costs low.
In 2006, the National Mentoring Partnership identified a significant “mentoring gap” and issued a nationwide call to action. The partnership estimates over 15 million youth are in need of a mentor each year. In order to respond to the call, TeamMates set a goal to reach 12,000 youth by 2020.