‘Teammates’ mentoring program expanding in South Dakota

The TeamMates mentoring program is continuing to expand in South Dakota, particularly after having started a chapter in Pierre.
Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 6:15 PM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Founded in 1991 by legendary University of Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne and his wife Nancy, ‘Teammates’ mentoring is a program for school aged children focused on providing them with a long-term role model.

Teammates pairs kids with adults who have similar interests, who then meet with those students roughly one hour a week for the duration of their schooling.

“Our mission is to inspire youth and help them reach their full potential through mentoring,” said Jess Karim, South Dakota regional coordinator for Teammates.

Teammates already had a presence in the greater Rapid City and Sioux Falls area, but in more recent weeks, expanded into Pierre.

“Pierre is a little unique in that the middle school (Georgia Morse) is right across from our State Capitol,” said Karim. “We have a lot of folks in Pierre that would be available to connect (and mentor).”

The program is always looking for new mentors to pair with mentees in all of its available locations. Given the newness of the program, this is particularly true in Pierre.

What makes a good mentor?

“Anybody who has time and passion for a child and their success,” said Kim Leiferman, Teammates coordinator at Georgia Morse Middle School in Pierre. “People have so many talents, they don’t get to share their talents with others, so this is a great opportunity.”

“Every kid, does not matter who deserves a mentor, and this program is able to do that,” said fellow Teammates coordinator Renae Lehman.

For more information about teammates, or about how to become a mentor, click here.

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