Reader’s Views

Grant provides program ‘Renewal’

To the Editor:

It’s no secret that Kinship is a program built on relationships. This is true inside our program as we work to match our mentees with adult mentors. However, that is not where the relationship process ends. Because we get to work with so many different people every day from so many different areas of our Martin County communities, we get a chance to take those relationships a step further when our mentors and families connect us with resources that help us make our program better.

Because our mentors and families have such a deep understanding of our program and what it takes to keep things running smoothly, they are able to advocate for us to their workplaces and service organizations. This was true yet again when we were encouraged to apply for a grant through Valero Renewable Fuels of Welcome, MN. We have applied for and received generous grants from them in the past, but this year we were informed that they had received more funds than normal and that if we had any dreams or projects we wanted to try to get a larger grant for, we should try.

We were so honored to find out Kinship was chosen for a $17,900 grant from Valero in December. Part of that money will be used for day to day needs in our Kinship Mentoring program, but a portion will be used to help Kinship work to get a new dream off the ground: our Ambassador’s Program. Courtney Logwood, our newest director, came in with a dream to help youth in senior high understand the financial needs and demands that come with life after high school, and this program will help us partner with area businesses to make that a reality. Starting next year, we will begin the process of getting this new program off the ground. One-to-one mentoring will still be our main focus, but this new program will allow us to expand our reach and expand awareness of our program even farther, which enables us to find more mentors for our students.

We are so grateful for Valero for awarding us with this grant, and so grateful for their continued belief in the work we do and the dreams we have for our communities.

Jen Kahler

Executive Director, Martin County Kinship



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