Mentor Moment: Jean Minahan

Jean Minahan, mentor

Jean Minahan has been a teacher and a social worker with Child Protective Services, so she knows well the importance of a mentor in a child’s life. “I’ve heard that if children have one positive person in their life, they’re more likely to graduate and have a productive life,” Jean says. “As mentors, we’re not with them very long, but we’re somebody that says they’re OK, and that they’re doing OK. We’re accepting them and giving them the freedom to make decisions and choose their books, and we’re not on them all the time like some other adults might be.” Jean, who reads at Monroe Elementary in Des Moines, enjoys the excitement of the students when they come to Power Read, and says it feels good to offer something they might not get elsewhere. She’s also a fan of the EWI program structure. “I think Power Read is well managed,” Jean says. “You have the site coordinator right there, and they notify you if your student is absent and they ask you if it’s OK to take on an additional student if another mentor is absent. It’s very well run.”