Girls Empowered through Mentoring (GEM) is looking for volunteers for a decades-old program, run by the Nurturing Center, that is changing lives.
Celina Purvis was nominated, along with thirteen other Kalispell and Evergreen girls, by a middle school guidance counselor for GEM when she was in eighth grade.
"I felt like my counselor was just trying to throw me out there and at the time that's not what I wanted, and so at the time it felt like an insult," explained Purvis.
In the end, she joined because it seemed fun and her best friend was doing it too. Looking back just one year later, she thinks her life looks a lot different.
"When I joined GEM, I was not in a good place. I was really depressed and going downhill with, you know, trouble," said Purvis.
"There is all kinds of research as far as mentoring about the great effects of it," said Kristen Lime, one of GEM's coordinators, "especially during this transitional time, while they're teenagers."
Right now, the Nurturing Center is looking for more mentors before the next cycle of girls starts in February. There are just a few requirements. Mentors must be at least 25, have a drivers license, and be able to meet with a mentee at least two times a month for a year and a half. Beth Schule sees kids nonstop as a mother of two and a middle school science teacher, but she has been mentoring for about a year and wants to stay involved in her mentee's life even after the program ends.
"I can only do so much as a teacher, and so I really like the idea of being able to take one student, one person and give that extra time and be able to, to not be like 'oh wait we're out of time,'" said Schule.
"People like me who really need somebody to talk to or be there for them when there is nobody it's really helpful," said Purvis.
Check out the Nurturing Center's Facebook page to learn more.