Written by: Alayna Nannen
At TeamMates, we rely on our core values: Commitment to Youth, Integrity & Trust, Safety, Inclusion, and Strengths-Based, to guide our program and each person involved. All of these values hold a special purpose in our mission as a mentoring program and our vision of what we hope for in the future. One concept, that is not a part of our core values, but also has an important place in the heart of what we do is that of agape. Agape is described as a kind of selfless love, and to our co-founder, Dr. Tom Osborne, is a spark of motivation for his legacy that is TeamMates Mentoring.
For Regional Coordinator, Lisa Dutt, having agape is not a rarity in her family. She, alone, has dedicated so much time and effort to give back to our program. Dutt believed in the message and work of TeamMates so much so that she started recruiting her immediate and extended family members to get involved as well.
Lisa started her mentoring journey with TeamMates back in 2008 in Lincoln, NE. This was around the same time that the Cambridge chapter was sprouting. She caught wind of the new chapter and encouraged her parents, who were living in Cambridge for retirement, to look into it. So, with her support, they did just that and both became mentors.
According to Lisa, “They still mentor to this day, even as they are in their 80’s!”
Little did they know at the time, this was just the beginning of a long line of their family’s mark on the TeamMates Mentoring program. Lisa’s cousin, Cindy, was the next to apply to be a mentor when she started teaching in Cambridge in 2014. Cindy’s two sons, Tyler and Kyle, then joined as mentees through their chapter when they became old enough. They stuck with their journey of being mentees throughout the rest of their primary school careers.
“Tyler has since graduated high school and was the recipient of the TeamMates/Tom Osborne Legacy Scholarship to attend Hastings College until he graduated in May of 2022. Kyle also graduated and is now attending NCTA in Curtis with a TeamMates scholarship,” added Lisa.
Lisa’s aunt, Cindy’s mom, Sylvia, also became a mentor through the Cambridge chapter in 2019 after seeing the impact it had on her other loved ones. Cindy’s brother-in-law, Greg Borland became a mentor in McCook, and her niece, Evie Borland, joined as a mentee in Millard.
Lisa confirmed, “We cover the state just about end to end, and we enjoy sharing stories of our TeamMates experiences when we get together.”
They have not stopped there. They are still working towards getting more of their family members involved in TeamMates every day. As a program, we are very lucky to have people like Lisa and her family, and the agape that they so naturally bring along with them.