Written by: Ashley Denton
Iowa Regional Coordinator
Over the last 3 years, 82% of mentees report that they feel more hopeful about their future. Three members of the Hope family from Avoca, IA share their experience as hope builders in the AHSTW community.
Rhonda, Chantelle, and Nick are three members of the HOPE family who volunteer their time with the AHSTW TeamMates program. Like so many, Rhonda Hope, the mom of the family, was inspired to mentor by Co-Founder, Dr. Tom Osborne, himself.
Being a huge Husker fan, when Rhonda heard Dr. Osborne speak about the program and his experience with the original mentees in Lincoln, she was sold on the program.
The ripple effect doesn’t stop there, Nick Hope, son to Rhonda, learned about TeamMates from one of Dr. Tom Osborne’s former mentees. Nick has served on the AHSTW Board since 2012 and will mentor a student this fall.
The third member of the Hope family who is mentoring for the AHSTW program is Chantelle. After moving back to Avoca in 2020 and hearing about her family’s involvement in the program, Chantelle felt called to mentor and will be matched with a student this fall.
Hope, by definition, means a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen, and Rhonda believes that HOPE describes the TeamMates Program perfectly.
“Can one person make a difference in others’ lives? Absolutely!”, Rhonda shares.
She also feels hopeful by the fact that her mentees always say, “thank you” and “see you next week”, each week she meets with them. This, in and of itself, affirms that they enjoy their time in the program as much as Rhonda does!
Nick believes that HOPE is the vision of optimism after an opportunity has been given, which can result in some suspense.
However, Nick adds, “With hard work, steadfastness, patience, and dedication to your beliefs, I feel that such suspense can eventually yield to having utmost confidence. The best part of HOPE, for me, is that HOPE is a virtue that leads to LOVE, and we all know how strong of a bond of LOVE can hold.”
Chantelle stated that her definition of HOPE is having an optimistic state of mind. Her perfect recipe is making connections with positive and happy people and witnessing and experiencing acts of love, goodness and kindness in our everyday world.
Specifically, she shared, “You look for positive thoughts and outcomes in all situations that are presented to you.”
Nick, Chantelle, and Rhonda have all had influential mentors in their lives. Like so many, Chantelle shared that teachers have played a huge role in her life, but her parents have ultimately been the most impactful mentors along the way.
Nick shared, “One commonality with all the mentors in my life is that I have learned something impactful from each one whether it was a skill, a behavioral impact, a faithful impact, etc. A real mentor is one that has taught me things to some degree.”
Through TeamMates, the youth in the AHSTW community have been able to experience positive social interactions with adult mentors and other TeamMates peers that they may not have been able to do without being involved in the program. Rhonda feels strongly that TeamMates is a great way to get involved with local youth and school districts in one’s community. Chantelle, Nick, and Rhonda are hopeful that their role as mentors will make an impact in the lives of others.
Hope can hold a different meaning for everyone, but having it sparks life, promise, and so much more that can positively impact anyone.
Thank you all for being HOPE BUILDERS and keeping the testament of agape alive in your communities and in TeamMates!