BURLINGTON — Mobius is excited to announce the addition of Sarah Caliendo to its statewide Board of Directors. Caliendo brings a passion for supporting young people and seven years of experience in the youth mentoring field to the Mobius Board.
“When I started my journey at DREAM I had no previous experience with mentoring, and wasn’t sure how effective it could be,” said Caliendo. “Since then, I’ve witnessed countless moments that prove the short and long-term positive impacts of mentoring, and with every example I feel more and more passionate about the power of this field. I’m really excited to join the Mobius Board and view it as a great opportunity to advocate for mentoring in the state of Vermont.”
For the past five years, Caliendo has served as the Vermont program director for the DREAM Program, a Village Mentoring organization that matches college students as mentors for youth living in local affordable housing communities. She began her career with DREAM in 2010 as an AmeriCorps service year volunteer, supporting college student-led mentoring programs at various colleges across the state. Caliendo is a 2007 graduate of Ithica College and currently resides in Burlington.
Caliendo also sits on Mobius’ Program Leadership Council, an advisory group comprised of elected representatives from mentoring programs across the state that advises and assists the organization with its various youth mentoring initiatives. She is one of three mentoring program representatives that serve on both the Program Leadership Council and the Mobius Board.
According to the “Mentoring Effect,” a study released in 2014 by MENTOR (The National Mentoring Partnership), one in three youth in Vermont will enter adulthood without having a formal or informal mentoring relationship with a caring adult. National studies by MENTOR and Big Brothers Big Sisters demonstrate that youth with mentors are less likely to engage in risky behavior with drugs and alcohol, and are more likely to develop positive relationships with peers and adults, and pursue college and other post-secondary opportunities. Based on the 2016 Vermont Mentoring Surveys, youth supported by mentoring programs in Vermont are 52 percent more likely to feel like they matter to people in their community, and nearly 75 percent of mentors play a direct role in their mentee’s education.
Now in its fifth year as Vermont’s Mentoring Partnership, Mobius supports approximately 140 adult-to-youth mentoring program sites that serve 2,300 mentor pairs throughout the state. Mobius awards more than $300,000 to youth mentoring agencies annually through the Vermont Mentoring Grants, which are made possible by support from the A.D. Henderson Foundation, the Vermont Department for Children and Families, and the Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children. Mobius also offers technical support to program staff, maintains an online program directory and referral system for volunteers, manages a quality-based program management database, raises public awareness of mentoring, works with programs to ensure they are meeting best practices, and leads statewide mentoring initiatives. For more information about Mobius, and mentoring programs and initiatives in Vermont, visit www.mobiusmentors.org.