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Make an impact in just 15 minutes a week

Northview — The district’s mentor program is looking for adults who are willing to meet with at least one student for 15 minutes a week throughout the school year. 

Janine Conway, who leads the program, has said, “It’s the consistency, the keeping-your-word and the simply-showing-up that is crucial. And when you stay with that student for five, six, seven years, it’s huge. The connection grows and the connection gets deeper.

“It’s so simple, but amazingly effective.”

The program got its start 18 years ago. All meetings between mentors and mentees take place on school grounds, and the district requires everyone who will be inside buildings regularly to pass a background check.

There currently are 95 mentors signed up to meet regularly with 126 students in grades 5 to 12 (adults can mentor more than one student), and some 35 students waiting to be matched with a mentor. The list continues to grow, said Volunteer Coordinator Chantil DeWitt, especially after school starts. In past years, the program has had some 200 mentors.

Those interested can attend one of three 60-minute training sessions to be held at Crossroads Middle: at 1 p.m. on Sept. 12, 7 p.m. on Sept. 13 and 8 a.m. on Sept. 14. New mentors will be matched with a student soon afterward. 

For more information, please contact Conway at jconway@nvps.net, or call the middle school at 616.361.3430. 

Read more from Northview: 
15 minutes once a week can make a big difference
Mentoring during a pandemic: more important than ever

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Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema is a reporter and copy editor, covering Northview. She is a Grand Rapids native and a product of Grand Rapids Public Schools, including Brookside and West Leonard elementaries, City Middle/High School and Ottawa Hills. She found her tribe in journalism in 1997 and has never wanted to do anything but write. For 15 years she was a freelance journalist for The Grand Rapids Press, covering local schools and government, religion, business, home & garden and lifestyles. She and her husband, John, think even those without kiddos should be invested in their local schools and made to feel a part of them. Read Morgan's full bio


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