Excellence in Mentoring Awards

Established in 2009, the Excellence in Mentoring Awards gives Iowa Mentoring Partnership (IMP) certified programs the opportunity to recognize outstanding long-time youth mentors. Individuals selected have served as a mentor a minimum of two years and exemplify both the spirit and positive benefits of mentoring. Mentors are selected based on their advocacy and leadership in mentoring, innovation, impact, commitment to their mentee, the match relationship, and the program itself. Many recipients possess a compelling mentoring story that illustrates The Excellence in Mentoring Award is the most prestigious honor that a youth mentor in Iowa can receive. 

2019 Excellence in Mentoring Award Winners


Jennifer Burkhiser has been a consistent, reliable, enthusiastic mentor with M.A.Y. Mentoring for 15 years. In addition, she has been a Links to LNX e-mentor for 8 years and serves on their e-mentoring advisory committee. Jenny goes a long way to support the interests and needs of all her mentees. She makes an extra effort to communicate with parents, teachers, counselors and others on ways to support her current students. Jenny is active in group activities and often volunteers for fundraising. She is constantly promoting the program and encouraging others to become involved. Jenny utilizes her connections with KYFR Family Radio and the Shenandoah Rotary Club to help promote M.A.Y. mentoring. She demonstrates reliability, consistency, availability, and leadership.


Isabel Haas has been volunteering with the Storm Lake STARS Mentoring program for two years. She started as a mentor with BV Buddies, a program in collaboration with Buena Vista University. Isabel eventually took on a leadership role with the program as Student Coordinator in her first year of mentoring. As a dedicated and committed volunteer she has gone above and beyond to recruit mentors, retain them through trainings and recognition events, ensure the program is following best practices, and plan events to benefit mentors and mentees. In her mentor role, she has worked to expose all mentees to higher education opportunities and has led college visits to Buena Vista University. Isabel continues to exceed expectations in her role and her passion for the program is extraordinary.


Evy Raes began her mentoring with YSS Ballard GRIP Mentoring when the program began in 1999. Since then, Evy has mentored numerous Ballard students, including three siblings at one time when mentor volunteer numbers were low. Throughout the 20 years of YSS Ballard Mentoring, Evy has advocated for the program in the community. She recruits and networks with Ballard citizens to gain their commitment. Evy participates in YSS Mentoring events with her mentees including bingo night, ISU basketball games, game night and craft night. Evy has organized a service project for mentor matches with the senior citizens at the Ballard Creek Community. Evy continues giving to the YSS Ballard Mentoring program and sees herself being involved for years to come.


Chris Schveiger from North Fayette Valley (NFV) Mentoring has been with the program for three years. Chris has displayed dedication and love for the program, commitment in helping refer youth, and inspiring youth as a role model. During this time, Chris has not only gone above and beyond the requirements of the program but has helped his mentee, Carter, transform from a shy, timid young boy to a fun, loving, comedic teenager. Chris has built a wonderful relationship not only with Carter but also with Carter’s family and serves as a great resource for them. Chris is NFV Mentoring’s biggest advocate in recruiting youth for the program. He consistently talks to his colleagues about signing up to become mentors and is involved in awareness and fundraising events such as the county-wide mentoring month proclamation signing and the annual golf tournament charity event. Chris truly believes in all kids and knows they have the potential to be great if only given a chance.

Printed from the website on June 18, 2021 at 7:41am.