Press Release 1.5.2023 – Seedling Mentor Program Seeks 50+ Compassionate Volunteers
January 5, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                               Contact:  Julie Barschow, Development Director
January 5, 2023                                                                                                                                                       (512) 554-1930

Seedling Mentor Program Seeks 50+ Compassionate Volunteers Desiring to
Impact the Life of a Child in a Meaningful Way
50+ Central Texas Children Still on Wait List for a Mentor

Seedling Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides school-based mentoring for Central Texas children impacted by parental incarceration, is seeking mentors for more than 50 children still on the waitlist for the Spring 2023 semester.

Seedling mentors visit their mentee one time per week during lunch at one of the 100+ schools that partner with Seedling. Weekly visits run through the end of the school year. Seedling has only two weeks left to make matches for this school year. Seedling will host a virtual public information session at Noon on January 10, 2023. To register, click here.

Seedling mentor, Jessie Metcalf, says, “Serving as a Seedling mentor has been the best volunteer experience of my life. I met my mentee nine years ago, and I could have never imagined the impact we have made in each other’s lives. I highly recommend the Seedling program!”

Based in best practices for mentoring, Seedling trains and supports its mentors, specializing in the challenges surrounding being a child who has an incarcerated parent.  The organization pairs the volunteer’s skills and interests with a child who has similar interests, as well as finds a school that is 15 minutes or less by car from the mentor’s weekday location.  Seedling matches average more than 24 months (with many spanning 5 to 10 years), which positively contributes to the students’ personal development, resilience, school engagement, attendance, and disciplinary outcomes. Volunteers find mentoring for Seedling particularly rewarding because of the long-term, positive impacts they witness because of their commitment to being a friend to a child.

“We have less than two weeks to find new mentors for the children this school year as our last new mentor training is on January 18, and we need the matches to have at least three months together.  We don’t want children who are already waiting for a loved one to have to wait for a needed friend in their life,” said Dan Leal, Seedling Executive Director.

There are an estimated 8,000 kids that have a parent in jail or prison in Travis, Hays, Bastrop, and Williamson Counties. No system, including criminal justice and schools, reliably ask the question of whether a child is affected or is in need, due to parental incarceration.  In 2005, Seedling began mentoring children who have an incarcerated parent at the request of principals in Austin ISD. Today, Seedling matches children with mentors in Austin ISD, Austin Achieve Public Schools, Del Valle ISD, Hays Consolidated ISD, KIPP Public Schools, and Pflugerville ISD.  Since its inception, the Seedling Mentor Program has served more than 2,700 students.

Individuals can go to the Seedling website, to complete the New Mentor Application or call Seedling at (512) 323-6371 with questions. Seedling is hosting a virtual information session at Noon on January 10, 2023. To register for the 45-minute session, click here.

Caregivers who are seeking school-based mentoring for their child in school districts partnering with Seedling should contact the school’s counseling department.

About Seedling:  Seedling’s Mission is to mitigate the impact of parental incarceration on children in Central Texas through school-based mentoring.  Seedling is a 501 (C)(3) nonprofit organization, Tax ID #74-2841791.  Donations are tax-deductible.

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