Girls happily reading their books - at Orchard Place Des Moines

January is National Mentoring Month


Orchard Place, mental health experts for Iowa’s children, recognizes the role mentoring plays in children’s development and also the positive impact it can have on mentors themselves.  

According to the Federal Mentoring Council, studies show that high quality mentoring has the potential to be a successful intervention strategy to address risk among youth and to promote positive behaviors and attitudes.  

“Our mentors continue to play an important part in the development of the children we serve,” said Orchard Place Director of Volunteers Megan Ronnenberg. “We are very fortunate to have so many mentors who devote their time weekly to the lives of children we serve.”

Q4 2014 Mentors Included:

Cynthia Adams

Kirsten Anderson

Heather Banker

Sara Bergkamp

Morgan Berthusen

Cory Briggs

Joe DeJong

Brandee Ferris

Holly Grimes

Jeff Harper

Dante Haygood

Wendy Highsmith

Colleen Hjort

Corey Jansen

Michael Lastuvka

Kristin O’Meara

Chad Oppedal

Sarah Day Owen

Megan Pendroy

Kelli Rolfes

Marcie Torkelson

Daniel Vance

Lindsay Wisniewski

A new report entitled: “Young People’s Perspectives on the Outcomes and Availability of Mentoring” found young people who were at-risk for not completing high school but who had a mentor reported higher educational aspirations as well as greater engagement in positive activities.  

In addition the report found:

• 55% were more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor

• 81% were more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities

• They were more than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team

• 78% were more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities

• Nearly nine out of ten respondents who had a mentor said they are now interested in becoming mentors

“With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community. The right match can really make a difference in the community, help you learn new skills, and even advance your career. Volunteering can also help protect your mental and physical health,” said Orchard Place Director of Volunteers Megan Ronnenberg. “We are proud to recognize the people who help us in so many ways.”

For More Information: For more information about the mentoring and volunteer programs at Orchard Place, contact Megan Ronnenberg at 515-287-9621 or Volunteers can easily register for our programs via the Orchard Place Website at:

About Orchard Place:

Orchard Place is the oldest locally-based charity in Des Moines providing mental health treatment and expertise for Iowa’s kids. Our inpatient, outpatient and community program serves nearly 10,000 children from birth to age 22 annually. Four operating divisions work under the Orchard Place umbrella of services: Child Guidance Center, Orchard Place Campus, PACE Juvenile Center and the Integrated Health Program. More information can be found at