Mentoring program in Dickinson gives children a friend to talk to

Kids can pretty much do everything from their bedroom today with the internet, social media, and video games, but a mentoring program in Dickinson is making sure children have someone to talk to.

Treven and Izayah aren't brothers, but from the way Izayah's face lights up when he see's Treven, you would think they were.

" . . . we can have fun together and make each other laugh," said Izayah.

Treven and Izayah are enrolled in the Best Friends mentoring program, and executive director, Kris Fehr said the program helps kids find a positive adult influence in their lives.

" For children who may be at risk of future educational issues or social issues, and they need someone in their lives." said Fehr.

Treven Hopfauf, who is a student at Dickinson State University, said he embraces his role as a mentor.

"To help the youth in the community that are struggling . . .  to help them reach their full potential," said Treven.

Izayah is now in the 5th grade at Prairie Rose Elementary, and his former fourth grade teacher has noticed a difference in him since he met Treven.

" Izayah was bit shy of a student. He didn't have very much confidence in himself, and Treven has really helped warm him up and make him feel more confident," said Kristi Stanley, 4th grade teacher at Prairie Rose Elementary

Best Friends mentoring encourages the volunteers to create a friendship with the children, through common activities like playing basketball.

"We usually go and play games. We go in the gym and play catch with the football and stuff like that, said Izayah.

The two only meet once a week during recess at Izayah's school, but Treven looks forward to hanging out.

"I like that we can just talk and be friends, more than just be his mentor," said Treven.

Best Friends currently has 80 active participants, but there are about 20 children on a waiting list for mentors.

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