Three Rivers Area Mentoring (TRAM) is a non-profit organization in its 21st year of existence. Our primary focus is to match school-aged youth/mentees with adult or high school age volunteers/mentors. As our mission statement states, “through one-to-one mentor/student relationships, TRAM strives to empower young people to pursue excellence, productivity and responsibility; to succeed in school, friend and family relationships; and to combat alcohol, other drugs and violence.” Our overall goal is to encourage youth to see the value of education, graduate from high school, and to pursue further education necessary for their chosen vocation/occupation.
To confirm our belief of success with this program, TRAM won the Red Wagon Award in 2007 through the Michigan Non-Profit Association at their Super Conference in Lansing in the area of a mentoring program offering successful employment opportunities; only 8 Red Wagon Awards were given out that year in five areas of Michigan’s Promise (mentoring, nutrition, safe after-school program, employment skills, and community service), with TRAM receiving the only one at the category of employment skills. At that same conference, TRAM was also recognized for being one of only three mentoring programs in Michigan that address all five aspects of Michigan’s Promise.
As you can see, the range of our program has enabled us to reach approximately 100 children per year. In addition to the ones with or seeking mentors, TRAM also offers volunteer opportunities to high school students at our after school program site. Several of these young people could also use a mentor, if there were enough to go around; however through their volunteer time, we are able to unofficially provide role modeling and various opportunities for advancement in their social skills, education, and home life needs.
Therefore, we can honestly state that TRAM is a successful mentoring program in St. Joseph County that has served close to a thousand children at risk of not graduating since its pilot program began in 1994.
TRAM is a recipient of St. Joseph County United Way Funds
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.