Mentor of the Year 2020

Brother/Sister Mentor of the Year

Tony Sieberg

School-Based Mentor of the Year

Tami Anderson

Community Mentor of the Year

Les Koppendrayer

Mentors are important!  They reach out to kids who have plenty of talent and really big dreams, but might not always have someone to guide them.  Mentoring is about building trusting relationships.  It’s about providing a stable, comfortable and secure place where young people can find opportunities to grow.

Thank you to all of the mentors who continue to help those in need of someone to trust and someone to follow.  Our community is grateful for your service.  We honor with special distinction, Tony Sieberg, Brother/Sister Mentor of the Year 2020, Tami Anderson, School-Based Mentor of the Year 2020 and Les Koppendrayer, Community Mentor of the Year 2020. Congratulations on your work.

These caring adults have set an example for all of us.  We can all make a difference. It doesn’t have to require a huge commitment; it doesn’t take much at all.  It can be as simple as taking a kid to the zoo, shooting some hoops, going shopping, or just sitting around talking.  There is so much good that can be done.

Brother/Sister Mentor of the Year

Tony Sieberg has been a mentor with the Brother/Sister Program since February 2017. Tony and his mentee get together each week and hang out for about 3 hours.  During this time his mentee’s world has been opened up to doing new and exciting activities. This has allowed them to create opportunities where both learn and grow through a trusting relationship about the life lessons of giving and supporting each other.

In 2017, Tony and his mentee attended the October monthly activity “Halloween Party”, both dressed in an “impressive” costume.  Seeing that others would enjoy the same fun by being in costume, Tony proposed his very own fund-raiser idea to gather resources to purchase costumes for any mentor & mentee who wanted an “impressive” costume to wear at a party the following year, 2018.  His plan included negotiating with the CEO of FUN.COM where he worked, to reduce the costume’s price to an affordable cost.

Because of Tony’s efforts in fundraising, all youth in the program attending the party would have free Halloween costumes.  The fundraising was so successful that he was able to offer free costumes again for the 2019 party.  Why did Tony go through all of this?  He recognized his mentee’s and the needs of others. He wanted to help and to create an experience that others would not have had otherwise.  This is one example of Tony’s thoughtfulness and supportive nature, and for his mentee, Tony has modeled the life lesson of giving back.

School-Based Mentor of the Year

Tami Anderson has been a School-Based mentor for nearly ten years, joining the mentoring program in November 2011. During this time she has been matched with two different youth. Her first youth match was from November 2011 to June 2012.  Tami and her current youth have been meeting together since October 2012 when her mentee was in elementary school.  Tami has continued to mentor, following her through the Jr. High years and is now regularly meeting with the very same young person at her High School.

Tami takes mentoring very seriously and enjoys meeting with her youth on a weekly basis. Recently, Tami transitioned their mentoring match to the community based program where opportunities are available to enrich an already trusting and supportive relationship.

All of this because Tami knows she can, so she does . . . caring for another by offering support and hope to a young person because they matter.

Community Mentor of the Year

Les Koppendrayer has spent his adult life helping kids. He spent a full career as an educator, both as a teacher and an administrator, until his retirement from Franklin Elementary School after serving as the principal there.

While at Franklin, Les was instrumental in starting the School-Based Mentoring program at the Mankato Family YMCA. He travelled with YMCA and United Way staff to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to learn about their mentoring program. He then brought that program back to Mankato where it still exists at the YMCA. Because of this program, hundreds of kids who benefit from it will experience a better future.

For years Les had been part of a team that dreamed of bringing a Boys and Girls Club to Mankato. He remained on that leadership team until it became a reality. He once again was a key force in leading the community to put in place a program that helps the children of Mankato. Les does this for one simple and wonderful reason. He loves kids. He sees the potential in every single one of them, and he feels he has an obligation to bring it out.  Les is a Champion of the YMCA School-Based Mentoring Program and My Place where the children of the Mankato area know they matter.

Today, let’s follow the example of all of our mentors.  Won’t you lend your experience, wisdom and hope that gives a young person the strength to reach higher?  You are invited; please consider becoming a mentor today!

School-Based Mentor Application

Brother/Sister Mentor Application

Thank you to all our mentors for making a difference in the life of a child. 

10+ Years of Service

Community Based Mentors

Christine Dewanz Carroll
Derek Liebertz

5+ Years of Service

Community Based Mentors

Tami Anderson
Sam Brockshus
Ashley Hagen
Lisa Haman
Katie Kassube
Courtney Kranz
Olivia Kranz
Zach Morganthall
Sam Murray
Harrison Musser
David Roberts
Nikki Smith
Stuart Stutsman
Jim Weart
Joy Wells
Gwenn Wolters
Chris Zelenka

School Based Mentors

Kathy Brozik
Betty Butler
Kelly Feddema
Peg Finnegan
Rachel Gibson
Mary Groothuis
Pam Harpestad
Tonya Hobbie
Kathy Jorgenson
Barb Kaus
Tom Koch
Jeremy Peterson
Paula Peterson
Laura Stevens
Brent Wood

3+ Years of Service

Community Based Mentors

Ruth Arians
Melanie Bengtson
Grace Brandt
Courtney Colton
Mark Graham
Vanessa King
Ben Ojika
Alex Palmer
Bailee Peterson
Nicole Roubik
Tony Sieberg
Keith Siefkes
Morgan Sommers
Tierra Spellman
Mikayla Swanson
Dusty VanThuyne
Terry Watts

School Based Mentors

Dean Bixenman
Angelica Funes

1+ Years of Service

Community Based Mentors

Amanda Betz
Michael Brenna
Krista Bunne
Kelsey Carpenter
Craig Carroll
Abby Christopher
Zoe Dascalos
Marla Feikema
Reagan Fenstermaker
Michaela Finnegan
Maria Graff
Jerri Hansen
Casey Hasher
Paula Heyer
Amanda Hoehn
August Hoffman
Brielle Honermann
Gail Jacques
Tiara Jellum
Kylee Johnson
Kayla Kampsen
Kennedy Keller
Natasha Laskey
Lynn Lease
Tiffany Marshall
Max Mayleben
Mark McCord
Chris McEachron
Alissa Morson
Alexis Osland
Alexis Paladini
Nicole Rieger
Wayne Rom
Megan Stutsman
Marquis Sutton
Marissa Swenson

School Based Mentors

Dariyan Adams
Connor Cox
Carly Czaplewski
Emily Duley
Roxanne Johnson
Katelind Keating
Tyra Klarenbeck
Michael Legg
Madeline Leibham
Samantha Mallow
Ann Rasmussen
Autumn Ritter
Morgan Starkson
Leroy Vetsch
Lori Vetsch
Gabrielle Wolf
Emma Woulfe

A special THANK YOU to all of our volunteers who help make the magic happen. We couldn’t do it without YOU!

Advisory Board Members

Bailey Blethen
Molly Fox
Mandy Kennedy
Les Koppendrayer
Jessica McLaughlin
Al Roehm
Scott Schaffer

Community Consultants

Kathi Christensen
Ted Clements
Marlae Cox-Kolek
Kate Cox
Jessica DuRose
Molly Fox
Megan Hein
Kelly Jensen
Mandy Kennedy
Jamie Mack
Abby Malterer
Nicole Olsen
Steve Peterson
Rochelle Rheingans
Katie Ryan
Jessy Shouler
Sarah Sifers
Megan Stein

School Based Mentoring Site Coordinators

Morgan Ballenger
Jennifer Berg
Molly Fox
Mandy Kennedy
Marcy Koch
Amy Luethmers
Annika Olivo
Sarah Reisdorf
Colby Taggart
Rebekah Thom
Cynthia Weir

Group Mentoring

Abby Christopher
Carly Czaplewski
Deedra Foley
Tracey Graves
Katianna Hillerud
Kennedy Keller