About Us

MENTOR Nebraska Overview

MENTOR Nebraska, formerly Midlands Mentoring Partnership, was launched in 1999 to improve the number and quality of mentoring programs available for Nebraska’s youth. For more than 20 years, we have led the mentoring movement to ensure youth and mentors have access to high-quality mentoring experiences. We support and collaborate with more than 200 mentoring programs that serve 14,000+ youth across Nebraska. While growth is a vital component of connecting more young people with mentors, we are dedicated to making sure those connections are quality matches made through quality mentoring programs.

Vision

MENTOR Nebraska’s vision is for every young person to have the supportive relationships they need to grow and develop into thriving, productive and engaged adults.

Mission

MENTOR Nebraska fuels the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships, strengthens collaboration, and advocates for mentoring.

Guiding Principles

Champions For Youth

  • We believe that young people are fully capable of thriving and reaching success in their lives.
  • We celebrate and recognize the many strengths and assets that youth possess.
  • We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all areas of our work.
  • We advocate for mentoring as a critical youth development strategy that supports increased access and support in education and employment while decreasing youth involvement in the juvenile justice system.

Promoters of Excellence in Mentoring

  • We promote best practices and embrace high standards for quality, innovation, and continuous improvement.
  • We use data, assessments, and resources to ensure effective continuous improvement in our sector.

Capacity Builders

  • We provide technical assistance and professional development opportunities for educators, staff, and community providers.
  • We develop, maintain, and leverage strong relationships with mentoring partners to extend and enhance capacity across the state.

Connectors

  • We leverage and extend our work through community partnerships and collaborations.
  • We connect, convene, and partner with mentoring programs, schools, businesses, philanthropists, and policy makers to recruit mentors and create efficiencies in our sector.

Change Agents

  • We examine data to identify trends and gaps in services and operate at the highest level of integrity to ensure donor funds are used as entrusted.
  • We research, promote, and provide support for promising new initiatives and innovations in the mentoring sector.

Recent Awards

  • 2016 Spirit of Omaha Best Education Event
  • 2016 Better Business Bureau Integrity Award
  • 2015 Nonprofit Association of the Midlands Best Practice Partner
  • 2014 Nonprofit Association of the Midlands Catalyst Award

Community Partners

Partners in Education

Grand Island Public Schools  

Lincoln Public Schools 

Omaha Public Schools 

proud affiliate of

Meet the Team

Melissa Mayo

Interim Executive Director

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Melissa Mayo Headshot

Melissa serves as the Interim Executive Director of MENTOR Nebraska. She and her team work in close partnership with community organizations, school districts, and businesses across the state of Nebraska to support and increase quality mentoring.

Melissa previously served as the Director of Community Impact-Education at United Way of the Midlands. In this role, she managed the education portfolio of the community investment work, including the bi-annual allocations process and special initiative grants. Melissa served as the project manager for community-level initiatives including the School Based Attendance Coalition and Book Trust literacy pilot project, while providing leadership in the expansion of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading initiative in the Omaha metro area. Prior to her work at United Way, she held leadership positions at Latino Center of the Midlands, Partnership 4 Kids, and Heartland Family Service. Melissa earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Nebraska - Omaha. She is a 2011 graduate of the Nonprofit Executive Institute and past board member of the South YMCA.

Karima Al-Absy

Advancement and Quality Assurance Manager

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Karima AlAbsy

Karima started at MENTOR Nebraska in 2020. She is currently the Advancement and Quality Assurance Manager. In this position, she oversees internal and external data, grant management, and quality assurance matters for the organization. Prior to this role, Karima also served as an Educational Consultant for MENTOR Nebraska.

Karima has previously worked as the Mentoring & Tutoring Coordinator at Kids Can Community Center. She is also an experienced writer and editor with a background in organizational culture and team development. Karima earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Creighton University and a master’s degree from New York University.

Marisa Hattab

Training & Partnership Development Manager

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Marisa

Marisa joined MENTOR Nebraska in 2019 and currently serves as the Training & Partnership Development Manager.  In her role, Marisa provides on the ground support for the advancement of Youth Initiated Mentoring, training and technical assistance, and leads our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Taskforce with a heavy focus on racial equity reform. Prior to this role, she spent more than ten years actively engaging with youth through mentoring and education. Marisa is passionate about seeing youth evolve into confident leaders who aim to change not just their circumstances, but also their communities.

Marisa earned her bachelor’s degree in Middle Childhood Education from Wright State University. Outside of work, Marisa serves as the Co-Chair on MENTOR National’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Subcommittee. In addition, she is a member of the Urban League of Nebraska Young Professionals and serves as the Co-Chair of their Advocacy Committee.

Monica Dixon

Program Manager

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Monica Dixon

Monica Dixon joined the MENTOR Nebraska team in 2020 as the Program Manager. She oversees the organization’s intentional mentoring initiatives across Nebraska, including Youth Initiated Mentoring, Success Mentors, and STRIVE refugee mentoring. Monica also provides high-quality training and consulting to current and new mentoring program partners.

Monica has more than 20 years of experience in the field of education, including 5+ years working with Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. Prior to MENTOR Nebraska, Monica worked for the University of Kansas as the Leadership Development and Research Project Director. She also spent 17 years in Omaha Public Schools in various capacities working with teachers, schools, and district leadership teams to provide an equity-based education for all students.  Monica has a master’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and is certified in Social Emotional Learning. She is currently pursuing her Ed.S at Northwest Missouri State.

Susan Mayberger

Educational Consultant

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Susan joined MENTOR Nebraska in 2018 as an Educational Consultant. In her role, she oversees a Refugee Mentoring Program for high school students and assists with Success Mentors.

Susan has more than 40 years of experience in the education field. She most recently worked as the Coordinator of ESL, Migrant and Refugee Education for Omaha Public Schools until her retirement in August, 2017. Susan is a member of the Latino Academic Achievement Council, the Omaha Refugee Task Force and is a former Board Chair of the South Omaha Community Care Council.  In addition to her role at MENTOR Nebraska, she is an educational consultant for the NDE Migrant Education Program. Susan has a master's degree in Special Education from Columbia Teachers College and a master's degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Hunter College, City University of New York.

Teresa Riesberg

Marketing & External Affairs Manager

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Teresa Riesberg Photo Option 2

Teresa joined MENTOR Nebraska in 2016 and currently serves as the Marketing & External Affairs Manager.  In her role, Teresa is focused on creating a culture of mentoring through community collaboration.  She leads a city-wide mentor recruitment campaign, engages organizations and businesses in the mentoring movement, and brings public awareness to the value of mentoring young people.  She also supports advocacy efforts, external affairs, fundraising, and organizational operations.

Teresa earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism & mass communication and kinesiology & health from Iowa State University. Outside of work, Teresa is a member of the Junior League of Omaha, Young Nonprofit Professionals Greater Omaha, and Friends of Nebraska Children.

Executive Committee

Chris Rodgers

Board President, Douglas County Board of Commissioners & Creighton University

Scott Focht

Board Treasurer, Omaha Public Power District

Jeremy Christensen

Board Secretary, Baird Holm

Matthew Enenbach

Member At-Large, Kutak Rock

Board of Directors

George Achola

Burlington Capital, Real Estate

Vernon Daniels

Juvenile Court of Douglas County

Justin Frauendorfer

Bland & Associates

Greg Gonzalez

Omaha Police Department

Daniel Gutman

Fraser Stryker PC LLO

Kevin Langin

First National Bank

Danielle McCawley

SilverStone Group

Juan Padilla

Omaha Community Foundation

Kari Potts

Valmont Industries

Carol Russell

Community Volunteer

Partner Members have demonstrated they are utilizing research-based mentoring practices in their programs. They participate in statewide data collection efforts and complete the National Quality Mentoring System (NQMS). Partner Members receive the highest level of benefits including no-cost background checks for all mentors, no-cost data collection and case management system, no-cost access to statewide recruitment activities, and opportunities for funding support.

Richard Webb

100 Black Men of Omaha

Jan Christensen

ACE Mentor Program

Brenna Poindexter

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Nebraska

Mario Racicot

Big Brothers Big Sisters Lincoln

Nichole Turgeon

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands

Karmen Thompson

Big Pals Little Pals of Greater Columbus

Miah Sommer

The Bike Union Mentoring Project

Jayna Schaaf

Community Connections

Roberta Wilhelm

Girls Inc. of Omaha

Robert Patterson

Kids Can Community Center

Deb Denbeck

Partnership 4 Kids

Laurie Ackermann

Ollie Webb Center, Inc.

Dave Wininger

Release Ministries

Grand Island Public Schools

Success Mentors

Omaha Public Schools

Success Mentors

Mary Fraser Meints

Youth Emergency Services

Friend Members are youth-serving programs working with volunteers to foster positive adult/youth relationships. These members can participate in our no-cost training and technical assistance opportunities, and are also listed in the national database search-engine for mentoring programs.

100 Black Men Pathways to Success - Omaha
402 Arts Collective - Omaha
4-H Youth Mentoring Program - Statewide
ANDY Foundation - Omaha
Athlete2Athlete - Lincoln
Banister’s Leadership Academy - Omaha
Befriend Mentoring Program - Norfolk
Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands - Omaha
Boys Town - Omaha
CASA (21 offices)
Catholic Charities Mentoring Moms - Omaha
Center for Holistic Development Grandfriends - Omaha
College of St. Mary - Omaha
Completely Kids - Omaha
Connected Youth Initiative - Statewide
Creighton TRiO - Omaha
Crossroads Mentoring Program - Omaha
Omaha Metro Young Life - Omaha
Edmonson Youth Outreach - Omaha
Foster Grandparents – Beatrice, Chadron, Gering, Hastings, Kearney, Lincoln, Omaha
FYI Center Positive Action Mentoring - Fairbury
Girl Scouts Nebraska - Statewide
Girls Inc. - Lincoln
Global Leadership Mentoring Program - Omaha
Heart Ministry Center - Omaha
Hogan’s Junior Golf Heroes - Omaha
Jesuit Academy - Omaha
Johnny Rodgers Youth Foundation - Omaha
Junior Achievement - Lincoln, Omaha
Kent Bellows at Joslyn Art Museum - Omaha
Keys Foundation - Omaha
Koinonia House of Worship - Omaha
La Casa Del Pueblo - Omaha
LAMP (Latino Achievement Mentoring) - Lincoln
Latino Center of the Midlands - Omaha
Lyons School District - Lyons
Lincoln Public Schools - Success Mentors
MAYS - Omaha
Midwest Trailblazers - Omaha
Mosaic - Omaha
Nebraska Correctional Youth Facility - Omaha
Nebraska Juvenile Justice Institute - Lincoln
Nebraska Probation
NGL Academy - Bellevue
North Platte School District - North Platte
NorthSTAR Mentoring Program - Omaha
Omaha Girls Rock - Omaha
Omaha North High School - Omaha
Omaha South High Magnet Mentoring Program - Omaha
Omaha Talons - Omaha
Panhandle Partnership - Scottsbluff
Partnership 4 Hope - Omaha
Partnership 4 Kids - Goal Buddies
PlayMakers - Omaha
Region 6 Behavioral Healthcare - Cass, Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy, and Washington counties
Sacred Heart School Cues Program - Omaha
Salvation Army - Statewide
SAME Student Mentoring Program - Omaha
SENCA Head Start Youth Mentoring - Humboldt
South Omaha Community Cares Council - Omaha
SPARK Positivity - Omaha
Special Olympics Project Unify - Statewide
St. Luke’s Teen Center - Omaha
T.R.A.C. Life - Omaha
TeamMates - 100+ chapters
The Bay - Lincoln
The First Tee - Omaha
The Zone - Norfolk
Treadstone - Omaha
Upward Bound - Statewide
Urban League - Omaha
You Go Girl - Omaha
Youth for Christ - Omaha
YouTurn - Omaha