Racine police Investigator Jody Spiegelhoff wasn’t sure what she was getting into when she signed up to be part of the Police Pals – Racine Unified mentoring program three years ago, but she thinks more people should get into mentoring because of the marked positive impact the program has on students.

As a police officer with a number of years of experience, Spiegelhoff deals with her fair share of kids, but until she started mentoring at the Racine Unified School District, most of those interactions were the result of criminal activity. Becoming a mentor gave her the opportunity to get involved with students in a different way.

“I am lucky to have two girls,” she said in a recent video interview with district representatives. “I get to be with them and follow them through this bumpy time. It’s neat to listen to each other because this is not a mother-daughter and it goes beyond just friends.”

One of her mentees, Migali Hernandez, has been partnered with Spiegelhoff for three years, and she said the best part of their relationship is that Spiegelhoff helps her work through stuff, and they do fun things together like making cards and putting together a scrapbook.

Spiegelhoff thinks more people should get involved in mentoring because of the growth trajectory she sees in her students.

“It’s great to see them grow and become more mature,” she said. “The biggest change I’ve seen in both girls is improved problem solving on their own; taking discussions and applying them. I’ve also seen both of their grades improve.”

To become a mentor, please visit the Racine Unified mentoring pages on the district’s website.

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