Position: Youth & Family Advocate for the Valley Youth Centers of Duluth (VYC)
Site: Valley Youth Center – VYC is a non-profit neighborhood based after school and summer program located inside Laura MacArthur Elementary School
What is your role as a site-based advocate for Mentor Duluth?
I manage a caseload of 30 Mentor Duluth matches and 20+ children waiting for mentors. I serve as the program’s lead contact for families at the VYC and Laura MacArthur Elementary School by connecting them with resources, both within our program and in the community.
What do you like about your work with Mentor Duluth and the VYC?
I can honestly say that I love what I do! I strive to be a positive, encouraging, and nurturing role model for our youth participants and they affectionately refer to me as “Miss Steph”. I have spent countless hours, days, months, and even years building relationships with our kids and earning their trust and respect; which in turn, helps me match them successfully with mentors who share their interests, goals, passions, and personalities. I love watching a mentor and mentee meet and interact for the first time. It is one of the most rewarding experiences to see the friendship unfold and know that it will blossom into something meaningful and life changing for both the adult and the child.
What are some of your hobbies and interests?
When I’m not working with the kids at the Valley Youth Center, you can find me spending my free time with my family. I am a mother of three to Hannah, Odin and Chase, a dog mom to Zelda, and fiancée to Gilead. We love to be silly, spend time outdoors, and travel when we can. My family are my biggest cheerleaders and support systems and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their unwavering love, guidance and support.