Mobius, a regional mentoring umbrella organization, recently announced its expansion from a regional mentoring agency into Vermont's Mentoring Partnership. Mobius will provide technical support, advocacy and funding for youth mentoring programs throughout the state of Vermont.
Since 2003, Mobius has served mentoring programs in Chittenden County. Mobius' statewide expansion is a collaborative effort with mentoring programs and funders to provide mentoring services to all areas of the state, and to form a unified voice for the mentoring cause. Mobius is named/depicted after the Mobius strip (infinity symbol) and represents the infinite bond of friendship that is formed between an adult and a young person in a mentoring relationship.
"It has been a truly rewarding experience to work with and for Vermont mentoring professionals during this statewide transition," said Benji Thurber, Mobius Communications and Technology manager. Thurber, a 2004 graduate of Craftsbury Academy, has been with the organization since 2009, and has spent the last year collaborating with mentoring programs and funders on the development of Mobius' new statewide website and mentoring database.
The structure of the organization includes a Program Leadership Council, comprised of elected representatives from mentoring programs across the state, who will advise the organization on mentoring initiatives. Four members of this council will also act as members of Mobius' Board of Directors.
"I'm impressed by the passion and dedication of the people who support this important cause," said Westfield resident Tanya Searles, the coordinator of the Lamoille Valley Mentoring Partnership (which supports mentoring programs in Caledonia, Lamoille and Orleans counties) and an inaugural member of the Program Leadership Council. "The development of the statewide partnership will add a significant amount of support to our goal of having a mentor for every child in the Lamoille Valley who wants one."
The Permanent Fund for Vermont's Children and the A.D. Henderson Foundation are supporting Mobius' statewide transition by providing $150,000 towards the organization's expansion, and grant making to new and existing mentoring programs across the state. Mobius will also be working with the Vermont Agency of Human Services to administer a $170,000 Vermont Mentors! mentoring grant for fiscal year 2014.
"We congratulate Mobius as it transitions to becoming a statewide youth mentoring partnership," said Rick Davis, president of the Permanent Fund for Vermont's Children. "Having a positive relationship with a caring adult is an essential asset for every child and mentoring remains the most cost-effective way to help young people stay on track. With our collaborating funders as partners, we look forward to supporting Mobius as we seek to realize the promise of every Vermont child."
In its new role as the state mentoring partnership, Mobius will provide technical support for programs and volunteers by maintaining a statewide program directory on its website, and a mentoring database that will allow programs to manage their program data, and track outcomes for the youth that they serve. Mobius will also be leading ongoing efforts to raise public awareness of mentoring throughout the state. For more information about Mobius and its mentoring initiatives throughout the state, visit mobiusmentors.org.