There are many ways to support Brookings County Youth Mentoring Program, as Dave Hopewell, a BCYMP Board Member, will tell you. A few years ago, one of BCYMP’s co-founders, Orv Schmidt, told Dave to check out the program and after learning more at a fundraiser Dave was hooked. His work at GracePoint Wesleyan, a supporter of the program, has made for a natural connection and he decided to join the BCYMP Board in September of 2017. While new to the Board, Dave has an amazing passion for BCYMP and the relationships it builds. He hopes to learn more about BCYMP and assert his strengths to help further the mission. When asked about BCYMP, mentoring, and its impact on the community Dave had some great insights.
On why mentoring is important: “It’s through relationship that change is possible. We live in a microwave society where we want results and we want them 10 minutes ago. Relationships don’t happen overnight. You can’t earn trust in just on meeting. Mentoring helps people build relationships with real kids in town; living alongside them, listening to their story, and encouraging them to live a better life. You get to be a positive influence on a kid who may have no one else (outside of a parent or guardian) speaking encouraging words to them.”
On how BCYMP has impacted the Brookings community: “Numbers and relationship can speak directly to this. We have seen a large increase in numbers, even since I started. That shows that there is a need. I also like talking to those pairs who’ve been together for a couple of years. You can see it in their eyes; the camaraderie they have. They trust each other, they can laugh together, and they have shared experiences. These are life transforming situations that will help any child mature into a healthy adult.”
His goals for BCYMP in 2018: “My goals for BCYMP is simple this year. I’m still learning more about the program and ways to insert our strengths. But my goal is that every mentee can have a mentor. Too many kids who needed a mentor went without last year. We (as a board and community member) can help bridge the gap. How can we get one more kid connected?”
As you can see, BCYMP is so fortunate to have passionate Board Members like Dave. The support of people like him keeps BCYMP going. Programs like BCYMP succeed when many members of a community do their part. BCYMP has changed many lives and will continue to do so with the support of the Brookings community. So, like Dave, ask yourself, “How can we get one more kid connected?”