SINCE 1991, THE TEAMMATES MENTORING PROGRAM HAS BROUGHT TOGETHER SCHOOL STUDENTS WITH WORKING PROFESSIONALS AND ATHLETES TO OFFER GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT. THIS YEAR, JET LINX HAS OVER 20 MENTORS DONATING THEIR TIME AND TALENT TO TEAMMATES. MEET SOME OF THE MENTORS FROM OUR NATIONAL OPERATIONS CENTER BELOW.
SERVICE DELIVERY MANAGER
Josh Carstensen, Jet Linx Service Delivery Manager, has found enjoyment and meaning in many ways during his three years as a TeamMates mentor – including playing football with his mentee and classmates, and running through the sprinkler to cool off on an unbearably humid TeamMates Zoo Day.
“No matter how the week is going for either one of us, it’s a great time to decompress, talk about our week and just have a positive interaction,” he grinned.
Carstensen encourages fellow team members to realize the change they can make by becoming a mentor. “Like myself, I imagine there are others out there that wonder what they have to offer to a kid they know nothing about. The truth is, it is easier than one could ever expect,” he explained. “Simply showing up each week for a kid is enough for them, it makes their day. From there, the relationship grows organically, and is just as rewarding for the mentor as it is the mentee.”
CREW RECORDS ASSISTANT
Jet Linx Founder & Chairman Denny Walker’s involvement with the TeamMates Mentoring Program is what inspired Crew Records Assistant Rachel Mesenbrink to become a mentor. “He has been a mentor for a long time, and always shares his meaningful experiences from over the years,” said Mesenbrink. “He was convinced that I would make a great addition to the program, so I signed up.”
Mesenbrink has learned a lot in the time she has shared with her mentee and hopes that her mentee shares a similar sentiment. “My mentee and I couldn’t have matched at a better time,” said Mesenbrink. “We were both dealing with some pretty serious home situations and they were similar enough that we both used it to learn from one another, grow and move forward. Ultimately, I hope my mentee learns that she can decide which positive paths to take in life.”
Jet Linx Accountant Lauren Goodhard has wanted to be a part of the TeamMates program since college, but could never find the time between her classes and school work. After joining Jet Linx, she was thrilled to learn that the company partnered with TeamMates and provides the time during work hours to devote to visiting her mentee. “Jet Linx has allowed me the time to commit, and I was super excited to get matched and start the journey with my mentee,” she recalled.
One of her favorite parts of being a mentor is simply putting a smile on her mentee’s face – confirming the positive influence she is making on her mentee’s life. “I hope my mentee sees me as someone she can count on. I know that being a child can be overwhelming at times, with school, friends and family, so I hope I provide her with a break from that and a place where she can just be herself,” said Goodhard.
FLIGHT CONTROLLER & FLIGHT COORDINATION TRAINER
“I wanted to participate in the TeamMates program as soon as I heard about it,” recalled Neal Goodpasture, Jet Linx Flight Controller & Flight Coordination Trainer. “It was the encouragement from my Jet Linx team members who were already mentors that made it a done deal for me, and I’m grateful to be a part of a team so involved in our community.”
Goodpasture’s favorite part of being a mentor is his opportunity to invest in the life of a child who needs and deserves it, and hopes his mentee grows up knowing that someone believes in him and will always be there. Thanks to his introduction to TeamMates from fellow Jet Linx team members, Goodpasture also wants to get others involved. “Just do it. There’s no need to weigh the pros and cons of being a mentor, because there are no cons. You’ll leave that school every week happier than when you walked in.”
DIRECTOR OF IT
As the longest-standing TeamMates mentor from the Jet Linx family, Director of IT Jeremy Parks saw company Founder Denny Walker’s passion for mentorship, and signed up after an informational meeting at Jet Linx.
For Parks, the transfer of knowledge and skills in the program went both ways. “My mentee taught me how to play chess early on,” he reflected, “and he regularly beat me.”
The impact of TeamMates often produces a ripple effect, with the positive experiences of the mentee shining light on other areas of their life. Parks heard from his mentee’s mother that he was making an impact on her son’s life and how happy she was that they were matched. “I always hoped that I could be a consistent positive influence in my TeamMate’s life, and her words affirmed my hope.”
DIGITAL MARKETING SPECIALIST
Although hesitant to become a mentor at first, Jet Linx Digital Marketing Specialist Sammi Finken was encouraged by a long-time TeamMates mentor to join the program – and she is glad she did. The lasting impact she had on her mentee has been the most rewarding part of the program for Finken. “Seeing the smile on my mentee’s face when she comes into the office to meet me is the best feeling,” beamed Finken. “I can be having a rough day or week, but I always walk out of the school with a smile on my face.”
One of the most emotional moments during Finken’s time as a TeamMates mentor was when she received a hand-written letter from her mentee. It read, “I hate having to wait so long before I see you again. Being with you is the funnest thing I do every Friday and I love having a mentor.” This special letter is displayed at Finken’s desk and reminds her every day that she makes a difference in her mentee’s life.
Since becoming a mentor, Jet Linx Accountant Megan Palmer has seen first-hand the positive impact TeamMates can have. For Palmer, being a mentor is just the spark that can ignite a huge change in a child’s life. “This commitment takes such a small amout of time every week, but it can make a huge difference,” she noted. “It’s easy to make the time to mentor once a week, especially with company support, and it’s a rewarding experience that you can learn from, too!”
One of Palmer’s favorite experiences during her time as a mentor is the annual TeamMates Zoo Day, where mentors and mentees are invited to the Omaha Zoo. “The day gives you the opportunity to get to know your mentee outside of school, and my mentee really opened up more at last year’s event,” she shared. “She was excited to hang out with other mentees and even tried to steal my umbrella when it was raining. It was a goofy side of her that I hadn’t gotten to see before.”
FLEET OPTIMIZATION SPECIALIST
Jet Linx Fleet Optimization Specialist Christian Barry joined the TeamMates Mentoring Program almost immediately after he started with Jet Linx in 2016. “I became a mentor when I first started with Jet Linx. When I learned about the TeamMates program, I didn’t even hesitate joining because I know that as a child, having an adult invest in spending time with you is a very encouraging and positive influence on your life,” he explained.
Barry and his mentee share a similar routine for other TeamMates mentoring pairs, meeting for lunch and playing board games. However, there was one meeting that has become a fond memory for Barry. “During one of the first meetings with my mentee, I asked them to give me a tour of their school. They were so excited to introduce me to their friends and show me around, and it felt great to see my mentee that happy.”
HELP DESK TECHNICIAN
Jet Linx Help Desk Technician Jonathan Santoya joined the TeamMates Mentoring Program with the hope of being a positive role model for his mentee. “My favorite part of being a mentor is knowing that simply being a friend to your mentee can make a huge impact on their life – both in present and future.”
Santoya and his mentee have formed a strong connection over playing strategy games, such as chess and Yu-Gi-Oh! card duels, during their weekly visits. He believes that everyone should consider being a TeamMates mentor, regardless of age. “You can make a great mentor and make a huge impact on a child’s life, no matter how young or old you are. All you have to do is be there for them,” he explained. “In the time with my mentee, I can already see his boost in self-confidence and I hope it continues to grow, so he can tackle anything he faces as he moves through school to become an adult.”
REVENUE ACCOUNTANT LEAD
Jet Linx Revenue Accountant Lead Megan Sextro has connected with her mentee over various topics, including Syfy Channel shows, movies and learning about the stories that her mentee enjoys writing. Sextro joined the TeamMates program thanks to her passion for volunteering in the local community, and is thankful for the experiences the program has provided both her and her mentee.
Sextro has seen her mentee shine at TeamMates outings like the annual Zoo adventure. “My mentee doesn’t have a lot of stability in her life, so I am grateful to be able to provide an element of stability for her and be there, even if it’s only once a week,” said Sextro. “The TeamMates program really allows you to help build a healthy relationship with a kid who might not have one in their lives currently. It’s a great program that I’m proud to be a part of.”