Mesa County Partners in need of mentors

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Mesa County Partners is in need of adult mentors now more than it ever has. A decline in adult participation has left nearly 100 kids on a waiting list to be matched with mentors.

"We are definitely struggling this year more than in the past in getting mentors in the door," said case manager Alecia Dembowski. "For some reason, that's been a struggle for us, and we really need mentors."

Dembowski said by this time of the year, the organization has usually been able to match 40 partnerships but this year, has only matched 20 so far. More than 60 of the nearly 100 kids on the waiting list are boys, so Dembowski said the organization especially needs male mentors.

For mentor Phil Lyle, his partnership experience with 10-year-old Jonah has been rewarding beyond what he imagined.

"It's very fulfilling because there is a need out there, and it's rewarding when I hear from his parents how happy he is being in the program," Lyle said.

Lyle, a mentor for ten years, said he believes some adults' desire to volunteer is overcome by over-thinking logistics such as time commitment, activities and money.

"There's no time that's better spent than hanging out together," Lyle said. "A lot of people who get into mentoring think 'what are we going to do?' But it's simple; just keep it simple."

Lyle and his partner spend time working in his shop together, going hiking and camping.

"We don't have to be doing big, earth shaking things, it's just spending time together and having a buddy," he said.

For more information on becoming a mentor, call 970-245-5555.

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