Child Advancement Project, or CAP, mentor Jenny Muscat.

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Ophir alum returns to BSSD as a CAP mentor

Ophir alum returns to BSSD as a CAP mentor 

Upon moving back to Big Sky following college in Missoula, Jenny Muscat signed up to be a CAP (Child Advancement Project) mentor after hearing good things about the program from a friend who was involved. Three years later, she looks forward to sticking with the program as long as she can. 

“I love it, it’s been fun being with the same girl, and it makes me feel like I’m a really a part of the community,” Muscat said.

Muscat was born and raised in Big Sky and attended Ophir herself, “So it’s been fun to be back and see things from the other side.” 

She meets with her “little buddy” during lunch at the school once a week to catch up. They create holiday themed crafts, homework, play games and just chat. “It’s the highlight of my week most weeks,” Muscat said.

Muscat’s match was in third grade when they started meeting up. She’s now in sixth grade and, “She wants us to be the longest-lasting mentorship. I said, ‘Ok. That’s a good goal.’”

Muscat works full-time as member services manager at Spanish Peaks, but hasn’t had any trouble getting away for her weekly get-together. “It’s fun, it’s easy and it’s really rewarding for me. And it’s good for them. They just need someone in their life that’s not an authority figure—someone they can hang out with.”

The CAP program is offered via Thrive, a Bozeman-based organization that provides mentoring, education and support for children and families. Thrive coordinator Julie Grimm said there are currently 33 mentor-student matches for K-12 at Big Sky School District. There are 10 kids on the waiting list, so more volunteer mentors are always needed.

“Anyone can do it. You don’t have to worry about being cool or having anything planned. You just go in and hang out with the kid,” Muscat said. “And as a mentor, you’re looked up to. You walk into the school and kids aren’t thinking, ‘That kid needs help.’ It’s more like, ‘Your mentor’s here. That’s so exciting. I want one.’” 

Anyone 18 and older is welcome to apply to become a CAP mentor. For more information, visit www.bssd72.org/thrive. To get involved, contact Grimm at (406) 995-4281 or jgrimm@bssd72.orgpieauction2018.

 —JP

 

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Lone Peak Lookout

235 Snowy Mtn Circle
Big Sky, MT 59716
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