(Brown County, Wis.) – Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach, along with the Green Bay Packers, Oneida Nation, and the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, are partnering to help recruit volunteer adult mentors to provide crucial support and guidance to youth involved with Brown County Child Protective Services.

“It is time for us as a community to tackle this issue if we want better outcomes and break the child adversity to prison system,” says Streckenbach. “It starts with children, they need mentors, hope and love to prove they can be more than their learned experiences.”

The community partners have proclaimed 2022 as the “Year of Pals Mentorship” and teamed up to provide a calendar of events to help meet Brown County’s goal of establishing a team of 100 adult mentors for the at-risk youth currently awaiting a mentor, and children who haven’t yet been referred for a mentor but could use one.

“The Packers are pleased to join Brown County and the Oneida Nation in helping recruit mentors for the Pals program,” said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. “We are proud to spread the word about how mentorship can make a critical difference in the lives of youth. When kids have an adult serving as a positive influence in their lives, it helps put them on the path to success and it makes our communities stronger.”

Green Bay Packers Player/Alumni Specialist Tony Fisher has agreed to be the “face” of the Pals program. Fisher hopes to utilize his connections within the community to highlight the need for volunteer mentors and the impact on the lives of at-risk youth.

This intentional effort looks to address social inequalities in Brown County, as a disproportionate percentage of children involved with Child Protective Services are Native American and children of color. Our goal is to inspire adults in our community to, “Be the Inspiration”.

“Oneida is proud to be a partner in association with the Green Bay Packers, Brown County and the Brown County Sheriff to collaborate our efforts promoting the Pals Program and encourage our community to become mentors to our children,” says Tehassi Hill, Oneida Nation Tribal Chairman. “We believe our actions to work towards building healthy relationships and strong self-esteem are critical to the success of our children into the future.  Our core values encourage us to surround our children with a good mind, a good heart and a strong fire.”

Research shows that mentors play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible choices, attend and engage in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior. In turn, these young people are:

  • 55% more likely to be enrolled in college.
  • 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities.
  • 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities.
  • More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.

Yet, the same research shows that one in three young people in our country will grow up without a mentor.

“Opening your heart and home a few hours a month can create a lifelong impact for a child waiting to be matched in the Pals Program,” says Jamie Chaudoir, Social Worker/Case Manager for Brown County Human Services.

We would like to encourage the adults right here in our community to go beyond just digital engagement – and become involved in real life. Mentoring relationships are at their best when connections are made between a caring adult and a young person who knows that someone is there to help guide them through life choices. The Pals Program currently has over 50 children awaiting a mentor.

To learn more about the role mentoring plays in our community and to find volunteer opportunities, visit www.PalsProgramOfBrownCounty.Org

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