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Published November 30 2012

A different kind of mentoring

FARGO – Bethany Foyt remembers trying out different volunteer organizations to find one that suited her.

When Foyt, the marketing communications manager at The Partner Marketing Group, became a mentor at Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity, she knew she had found an organization that was just right for her. Mentors at Habitat for Humanity help families through the transition into their new houses.

“It felt like something I could actually make a difference with,” Foyt says. “It was a learning process for me, too.”

All volunteer mentors go through training to learn how to help families navigate home ownership, says Katie McCormick, the program and marketing manager for Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity.

“Mentors are a huge resource for the partner families,” she says.

Mentors help partner families, or families who buy homes through Habitat, with everything from mowing the lawn to budgeting. Partner families are often first-time home owners, McCormick says.

“We’re always looking for ways to help them (families) feel confident,” she says.

The mentor becomes a sounding board for the partner family.

“It was really hands-on and enjoyable,” Foyt says.

While mentors are required to commit to one year with a partner family, many build relationships that last much longer.

“It’s really cool to see the lifelong friendships that develop,” McCormick says.

People can volunteer to become a mentor by calling the Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity office at (218) 284-5253.