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Our Roots 

The first Kinship program began in 1954 as the Christian ministry of four students at Luther Seminary in the Twin Cities. These students befriended some boys in a tough Minneapolis neighborhood who needed a positive influence. They weren’t trying to evangelize or act as psychologists or counselors to these boys. They wanted to be their friend and make a difference in their lives.

In 2022, there are currently 19 affiliates throughout Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Kinship Mentoring of Columbia County joined the other affiliates in 2020. Learn more about Kinship Inc. at www.kinshipinc.org. Our vision is to transform communities by matching safe, nurturing adult mentors with area youth so they reach their full potential and become positive societal contributors. 

Board of Directors  

President

Vice President

Treasurer/Finance Committee Chair

Holly Jensen

Board Member

Paul Kenas

Board Member

Sue Jensen

Board Member

Cory Otto

Board Member

(open)

Board Member

Rich Cada

Board Member

Ryan Jensen

Board Member

Vickie Greenwold

Board Member

Anchor 13

Lisa Cook

Community Committee Member

Margie Druce

Community Committee Member

Eric Shimpach

Community Committee Member

KMCC Director

I am so glad to be a part of Kinship Mentoring of Columbia County!

I have a passion for helping children to grow into confident and respectful young adults. My husband's military career has moved our family literally around the world and back. After 27 years of service, Chris retired, and we have made the great town of Portage our permanent home. We have two children - Molly is 16 and Murphy is 13 years old.

 

20 years ago, when I lived in San Diego, I was matched with an 8-year-old "Little Sister" in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program. Tiffani and I spent a year and a half together before I moved to Maryland. We had so much fun at the beach, Botanical Gardens, movies, bowling, and frequent ice cream afternoons!  She was even a flower girl in my wedding and we're still in touch with each other today! 

 

When we lived in Illinois, I was a substitute teacher for preschool through 8th grade. For the last 10 years I have enjoyed teaching Sunday School at church during mass for kids ages 3-8 years old. I was also on the PTA Committee at St. Mary's School and helped plan many activities and events for the parents, teachers, and kids! 

 

At Kinship Mentoring I hope to continue to match mentors with kids to foster strong and positive relationships. I will be planning lots of fun events and activities to do with all the mentors and mentees! 

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