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We all know how important it is to have good teammates on your team to produce a positive attitude and winning spirit. It can make all the difference in the world. The community of Schuyler is fortunate enough to have a group of TeamMates who make a difference in the lives of the youth of the community.

The TeamMates organization was founded by Tom and Nancy Osborne in 1991. They began the organization to provide support and encouragement to youth in middle and senior high school. The Osbornes saw a need for an organization to help these young people graduate from high school and go on to receive a college education. That is how TeamMates became a reality in Nebraska.

In order to make this organization work, a community must first have enough adults who want to share their time as mentors with the school-aged youth. These mentors are volunteers who receive no pay for the time they spend with the young people. They do it out of the goodness of their hearts to see the youth succeed through high school and beyond. Currently, the TeamMates movement has groups in Iowa, Nebraska and San Diego, California. There are over 7,000 young people who are taking advantage of the being a part of the TeamMates group in their area.

The core values of TeamMates are a commitment to youth, safety, integrity and trust and inclusion.

The Osbornes saw TeamMates as an investment for the future. By volunteering just one hour a week, adults have the opportunity to participate in this worthwhile group that benefits everyone involved.

Alejandra Dimas is an administrative assistant at Schuyler Middle School. She is also a dear friend who has a heart of gold and someone who has been called to the ministry of the TeamMates program in Schuyler.

In an interview with Dimas in January, she stated that the TeamMates program started in Schuyler in 2009. She commented that there are 21 students involved in the program. She serves as the TeamMates coordinator for the Schuyler chapter. Students in the third through 12th grades are eligible to participate in this program and they are encouraged to do so.

Obviously, it is just as important to have enough mentors to serve the youth involved in the program. At a recent basketball game in January, the mentors were recognized for the time and effort they devote to the TeamMates program. Over a dozen mentors were recognized. Mentors can be as young as 20 or as old as 80. As long as they have an interest in watching the youth of our community succeed on their educational paths, they are needed in the program.

If you are interested in being a TeamMates mentor in Schuyler or the surrounding area, you may contact Dimas at Schuyler Middle School at 402-352-5514 for more information.

Are you a good TeamMate? It’s worth a try!

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