NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodAppleton


A match made in Outagamie County: Mentoring program needs volunteers for dozens of children

A match made in Outagamie County; How the mentoring program helps dozens of kids
Posted at 5:05 PM, Dec 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-18 18:05:34-05
  • The Outagamie County mentoring program is looking for more mentors. They have around 40 children on their waiting list.
  • Mentor National says children with mentors are less likely to skip school and do drugs and more likely to go to college.
  • I spent time with a program match Leo and Michael Day to hear why they like spending time together and how it makes a difference in their lives.

Children everywhere need someone to look up to and Outagamie County is no different. A local mentorship program wants to give children the best chance at a successful future. I’m Olivia Acree, your Appleton neighborhood reporter and I talked to mentor Michael Day about why he’s been doing it for 14 years.
11-year-old Leo and his mentor Michael Day are a match made in the Outagamie County mentoring program.

“Okay come on Mike,” said Leo.

“I couldn't ask for a whole lot more out of an 11-year-old,” said Michael Day.

Day joined the program 14 years ago.

“I enjoy the time I spent with my mentee,” said Day.

And hasn’t looked back since.

“That's what makes me want to stay,” said Day.

According to the organization Mentor National, children with mentors are 52% less likely to skip school and 46% less likely to use drugs.

“Having that one positive caring adult role model can really make the difference for a child,” said Kayla Yernesek, program coordinator, who adds the problem they're facing right now is there’s not enough mentors.

“The kids who are on our waiting list, they want a mentor they want a positive role model in their life, and we just don't have someone for them yet,” said Yernesek.

They’re looking for mentors right now.

There are about 40 kids on the waiting list, and some have been there for more than a year.

“There are probably several others that could be referred but are just not being referred because the wait list is so long,” said Yernesek.

Kids like Leo.

“Lots of mentors are actually very nice, they help you out with a lot and they really do treat you well and they love having fun with you,” said Leo.

“I just feel like I'm making a difference like I'm helping him somehow,” said Day.

“Oh my gosh how’d I do that,” said Leo.