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BEAM looking for a ‘Few Good Men’-tors to help kids

By Staff | Mar 23, 2009

Mary Lucas is on a mission. She wants to find 10 new mentors in 10 days.

“I don’t know if that is possible or not, but I am going to try,” the director of the Blue Earth Area Mentors (BEAM) program says.

There are currently 38 kids from the Blue Earth area who Lucas has placed with an adult mentor. Suddenly, however, she has gotten quite a few new referrals.

“I had three at first, now two more have come in,” Lucas says. “I think there may be more who may need the program, too.”

BEAM matches a youth – who needs an adult friend for one reason or another – with a mentor.

“They agree to get together for an hour or so every other week,” Lucas says. “They just do something fun, go eat, or just hang out.”

Bill Paul has been a mentor to Nick Alphs for four years. Both live in Blue Earth.

“My Uncle Kevin suggested I would be a good mentor,” Paul says. “I spoke to Mary Lucas and decided to try it. It has turned out to be really fun – I really enjoy it.”

Nick agrees, saying they have fun every time they get together. He was 7 when he started the program, and is 11 now.

“We go to fun places or just out to eat – my favorite is Pizza Hut,” Nick says. They have also gone to Twins games and other events.

“But sometimes we just hang out, and barbeque or play catch,” Paul says. “Being a mentor is easy and very rewarding.”

He says he has seen Nick grow and mature over the past four years.

“He was not very talkative when we first met, but now he talks all the time,” Paul says.

Nick’s mom, Kim Naumann, agrees that having a mentor has been great for Nick.

“As a single mom, there are just some things Bill talks to Nick about, or shows him, that I never would,” she says. “For instance, they changed oil on a lawn mower one time – something I don’t know how to do.”

Paul has also shown Nick how to build shelves, sharpen blades and do other chores. When they grill at Paul’s house, Nick is now the master chef.

And one of their favorite activities is riding Paul’s motorcycle together.

Lucas says she needs some more volunteers to be mentors, as soon as she can find them.

“It doesn’t have to be one person, it could be a husband-wife team, or even a whole family willing to mentor a child,” she says.

Anyone interested in finding out more about being a mentor should contact Mary Lucas at the BEAM office at 125 N. Main in Blue Earth, or call (507) 526-5219. The e-mail address is beam@bevcomm.net.