Team Up Mentoring is a charitable nonprofit organization located in Monroe, Georgia. But really, they are much, much more than that. For almost 15 years, Team Up Mentoring has been serving a unique population of young people affected by trauma by using a unique model that surrounds each child with a group of caring professionals committed to providing long-term, trauma informed care.
Anna Blount, Founder and Executive Director started Team Up Mentoring based on a personal experience while she was a college student. She was taking a young girl home after a church program and when they arrived at her house, the girl’s family had moved out while she was away. Seeing this as a calling for Anna, she took the young girl in. Knowing this young girl was not the only child going through situations like this, it sparked a passion for Anna. A passion of trauma informed care; meaning
“Providing healing environments focused on physical, emotional and spiritual needs for individuals with histories of abuse and neglect of all kinds.”
When a child has four or more Adverse Childhood Experiences, they are more likely to experience negative health outcomes. Children in the Team Up Program have an ACE score of 7 or more, meaning they have survived more trauma than 99% of the population in the United States– making them the top 1% of trauma survivors.
Source: Team Up Mentoring; What Makes Us Unique
Since 2006, Anna and Team Up has grown from a small after school program to a holistic case management and mentoring nonprofit offering a spectrum of services to over 60 kids and families. Using the relationships made through mentee and mentor, this creates a space for kids and teens to overcome and cope with the trauma they’ve experienced. Typically, children enter Team Up between ages 3-8 years and journey with Team Up until they turn 21 years old.
The Case Managers of Team Up will ensure the kids are meeting educational requirements by partnering with teachers, having proper doctor appointments scheduled and providing transportation when needed by working with insurance providers and health professionals directly to provide the proper care for each and every child.
During Mentoring nights, kids and teens gather and follow a designated curriculum every Tuesday and Thursday evening hosted by volunteer mentors. Additional volunteers across the community provide dinner each night for the mentors and kids.
Through the journey, Team Up ensures their kids and teens are supported through education, wellness, mentoring and empowerment. From ensuring kids are getting the medical and mental healthcare they need, to teaching teens how to write resumes and drive, Team Up truly never gives up.
Team Up not only serves kids and families they support but are committed to making a difference in the community around them. Through the Mentoring programs, this allows community members to get involved and be part of a bigger purpose. Team Up also works with the schools attended by the students to ensure kids are performing and also offer scholarship opportunities to local private schools for those children who may need extra care by partnering with local schools.
In the past 5 years, Team Up Mentoring has significantly grown its operations by adding on 9 paid staff members, finding official office space and growing its family count. They are also exploring options of sharing their model to other communities outside of their own. By no means do they want to keep their success to themselves. Kids are their number-one priority, so their goal is to share their success with as many communities as possible, rather than keep it to themselves.
FoneLogix has allowed Team Up to professionalize their operations since the growth and success in the past 5 years. With routed phone lines that reach the appropriate parties and reducing the amount of calls to individual cell phones, Team Up can utilize multiple FoneLogix services. The cloud-based solutions have also been able to bypass infrastructure limitations (like concrete walls in rural areas) to ensure less disruption of services. And, since COVID-19, Team Up Mentoring employees have been able to operate flexibly at remote locations.
While Team Up was only able to do virtual mentoring in the spring, they are offering a hybrid version in the fall with both virtual and in-person mentoring sessions happening weekly. And this year, the annual Magic Makers Campaign Gala will also be held virtually. Lastly, with the move to virtual learning for school, Team Up has created learning pods for kids who are medically challenged or whose parents cannot support virtual learning at home.
Here are some ways you can support the mission of Team Up Mentoring:
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