Community Partnership Spotlight: The Mentoring Network

The Mentoring Network

The Mentoring Network provides school-based mentoring with a mission to improve life outcomes for vulnerable children by building one-on-one lifelong relationships. 

What does your partnership with NSD look like?

The Mentoring Network works with school counselors to match volunteer one-on-one mentors (18 years and older) with youth who need an additional adult in their life.

The program was started in 1999 by four passionate women who worked in Nampa, Caldwell, Homedale, and Parma school districts overseeing school counselors. As the dropout age got younger and younger, they wanted a way to keep kids in school. They formed the West Canyon Mentoring Project, which six years later was incorporated into the nonprofit The Mentoring Network Inc. to make the service available for more kids each year.

Why do you partner with NSD?

Because the Nampa School District understands what a game changer having a mentor is for a child. That one (or more) caring adult who can show up, listen, and care makes a difference in the learning arena – children’s grades, attendance and behaviors improve as they become more present, ready, and willing to learn. The kids who stay with a mentor have a high school graduation rate of 99%, and 99% of them stay out of the juvenile justice system. The district and schools have been great supporters for the service The Mentoring Network provides at no charge. One hour a week truly transforms lives (for kids and adults).

In Their Own Words

In 2013 we received this email from a Nampa elementary counselor. “I have a second-grade child here who is a little lost soul. She is very sad and needy and will be a child who is lost. Can I have a mentor for her? I think her mom will grant permission. I also think your mentor will love her dearly. She absolutely BLOOMS with the tiniest shred of affection. Lately she’s been stealing, big stuff. Very boldly. I’m terribly worried about her.”

We matched her with a young college student who has loved her dearly (and still does) for the past 10 years.

“When we visited this mentee in May 2023, she was preparing to graduate from a Nampa high school and start college in August to become an RN. She wants to help people. She is still with the same mentor and they plan to continue meeting as she goes through college. She sent this note to her mentor, “I appreciate you for everything you have done for me. You inspire me to be a better person. I can’t thank you enough.”

She now has a month of college behind her and she is finding her voice and seeking guidance to maneuver through this new adventure as a first-generation college student with a “team” of people to encourage and support her. 

How to Volunteer

Visit or call 208-880-1690 for information on how to become a mentor. If mentoring is not your passion but you believe in the power of mentoring, you can become a monthly or annual donor, sponsor, or share other talents/gifts that you might have.