From the nominator:
“Elizabeth Kern has been a mentor in the UMC Mentoring and Caring Program for three years. Initially, I matched Liz up with April, a 12-year-old girl. April’s sister and brother also were matched up with mentors. After her sister’s mentor accepted an internship in Kentucky, Liz volunteered to mentor both girls. During group events, I can see that all three children in the family know Liz well and feel very comfortable with her. She is always cheerful, full of energy and truly seems to love spending time with all three children.
In addition to her work with children in our mentoring program, Liz also volunteers to deliver meals to shut-ins; is the president of Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD), an honor society; is president of the Dairy Club; and organized a spaghetti dinner fundraiser to help fund a scholarship for another student to participate in an alternative spring break service trip. She also is a judge for regional high school FFA contests, works weekends at a transitional housing complex for adults with mental illness and volunteers in many other capacities at the University of Minnesota, Crookston.
The UMC Mentoring and Caring Program began four years ago in response to a community outcry for positive role models and activities for children after school. The program has partnered with Polk County Social Services to identify children for the program. Many of the children in the program have learning disabilities or live in families dealing with difficult issues.
Liz has worked with this particular family for three years. The greatest difference I see in the children is a sense of self-confidence. April went out for track last spring, and it was so nice to see her communicating comfortably with other teammates. She is extremely shy but is learning how to feel more confident in herself.
Liz is always willing to volunteer to help someone. More importantly, however, is that she looks around and sees what needs to be done—and then does it. She is well connected to the students, the campus and the community.”