Measuring Impact in Mentoring

When Seedling Mentor Program was envisioned in 2005, the program was based on research, best practices, and included metrics from the beginning.

Each year, the Board of Directors approved increased resources and directed staff to take the steps needed to ensure that the program was having an impact on children through surveys of the Mentees, Mentors, Schools, and the Caregivers.

Seedling Mentor Program undergoes a rigorous evaluation by an independent professional each year. The results are posted on our website and presented to the Board and other stakeholders.

The Board of Seedling is proud to share them with you. Just click the image to see this last school year’s evaluation by Karen L. Looby, Ph.D.  Our sincere thanks to Dr. Looby for her expertise.


We invite you to peruse the report, and Dr. Looby has included a Primary Outcomes Page that boils everything down to the highlights.

Here are a few quotes from our mentored children…



Trained, highly supported Mentors who feel they are part of a team make a lifelong difference in children’s lives while becoming a self-renewing resource as they share their positive mentoring experiences with others.  We know this is true because we see it happening every day.

Are you ready to change your life in a positive way by entering the life of a child who needs someone like you? We can help you make that happen.

Contact us at Seedling and start your mentoring journey this year.

We can’t wait to meet you.



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Cultivating Young People’s Possible Selves

Seedling Mentoring is a highly supported, research driven, school based, one-on-one mentoring program in the Central Texas area. Training and continuing education are the bedrock of what we believe in and offer to our community volunteers who are entering the lives of children who are challenged by parental incarceration.

October’s Mentor Training Lunch was well attended, and we encourage all of our mentors to catch these sessions whenever they can.  “The more you know…”

Seedling MentoringWe know the importance of helping all young people develop a positive view of themselves in the future and connecting their ability to become that positive possible self to the actions they do—or do not—take every day.

For this reason, having a clear, positive idea of their “best possible selves” can motivate young people to work harder and do better in school, particularly if they are shown connections between what they’re doing in school and these future aspirations.


1. Connect: The foundation of helping youth cultivate their possible selves is to build a strong relationship with them. As a mentor you are doing just that. With growing trust in the relationship, your mentee is more likely to open up to you. Then they’re more likely to share with you what they really aspire to do or be.

2. Describe: When the opportunity arises, engage your mentee in conversation that encourages them to recognize how what they are learning in school will help them in the future, including how they will use the knowledge and skills in future learning that will ultimately help them achieve their goals and aspirations. Continue reading

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Is This Your Year to be Epic? Mentor with Seedling

School has begun, and our Mentors are pairing up again with their young friends in Austin’s public schools.

Some are continuing a friendship that has grown over years, and some are beginning a brand new relationship, but they all have one thing in common…

They have been well-trained, and they are highly supported in their mentoring.

That sounds so simple and logical, doesn’t it? And yet, this kind of preparation and continuous support of the mentoring relationship is rare. It is not the cheapest way to mentor, and it is not the easiest way to mentor, but we have found through multiple years of independent evaluation that it is one of the very best ways to mentor.

Here are some comments from our Mentees…

Is this your year to be epic? 

Visit Seedling, and learn about high-quality mentoring for children who are challenged by parental incarceration. You can be an agent for change in a child’s life, and we will help you to enjoy the journey. Sign up today, and start a mentoring relationship that will benefit you and your new little friend.

We look forward to hearing from you.



Posted in Children in Poverty, Children of Incarcerated Parents, Mentoring, Seedling Mentees Speak Out | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Father’s Day When Daddy is in Prison

Dads-Day-Video-StillThis year, Google sponsored a video that was a heartfelt letter from children challenged by parental incarceration to their fathers in prison.

Watch and listen, because to hear a child’s feelings is more compelling than any statistics we could share with you, but trust us, Seedling Mentor Program is research-based, and we will keep sharing those numbers.

This video can give those numbers faces and voices and help us all relate to hundreds of thousands of children of prisoners in this country.


What can you do?

You can mentor. One hour a week at a child’s school throughout the school year makes a measurable difference. We know, because we measure it.

Seedling Mentor Program will train you, prepare you, and support you throughout your mentoring journey, and yes, we even measure how effective this kind of mentoring is for our volunteers. 70% or more of our mentors come back year after year and make a life-long impact in a child’s life.

Is the 2016-2017 school year your year to change two lives for the better? We will be here, ready when you are.

Many thanks to Google for sponsoring these videos and sharing them with all of us who care about the children challenged by parental incarceration.

~Seedling Mentor Program Staff

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Seedling College Scholarships – Offering the Future

2016 Scholarship GroupThrough generous donations, the Seedling Foundation has had the privilege of offering our 8th grade Seedling mentees an opportunity to compete for a $5,000.00 scholarship for higher education, to be bestowed upon graduation.

Candidates complete an application, write an essay, and get a letter of recommendation from their mentors. It is a real-world experience and the mentors enjoy being part of it with their mentees. Candidates may apply the funds the higher education institution of their choice.

We are proud to announce that three Seedling mentees were awarded the prize this year! We look forward to seeing them again at the end of their senior year and hearing about their continuing education plans.

Please enjoy some thoughts and declarations from the 2016 winning essays.

“My dad has worked his whole life to support my two sisters and me. He is trying to help us reach our goals in life, and I want him to reach his goals in life, to see his kids grow up to become happy adults.”

“I want to help young people just like me to get through their problems and let them know they are not alone.”

“My mentor has helped me forgive people and learn to leave things in the past. She has taught me to strive for better than what I thought I could have.”

“I have always wanted to be a writer or journalist because I love to write. I am working on my first book and I plan on finishing it. By college, and maybe beyond, I want to look back at myself and say, ‘Wow, I made it this far!’”

Seedling College Scholarship Winners from four years ago were also recognized at the recent Mentor Appreciation Luncheon (PHOTO ALBUM) along with their proud mentors.

Congratulations to Ruth Santiago (Mentor Susana Kaufmann) and Alex Jaimes (Mentor Paul Reddam) and our good wishes will continue to be with you as you cross the stage at graduation and walk into your future.

We are grateful to have been a part of it.

-Seedling Mentor Program Staff

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