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Mentoring transitions at UCS

Community News

After serving the Bennington County community for nearly four decades, United Counseling Service is no longer able to provide its in-house mentoring program, Mentoring at UCS, effective May 1. The tough decision was made primarily due to the inability to hold its primary fundraiser, the Bowl-a-thon, for the last 3 years due to the pandemic, “We simply could not continue to maintain the program through very little to no funding”, said Lorna Mattern, Executive Director. UCS is transitioning current matches and referring new inquiries to a pair of Vermont organizations that focus solely on mentoring.

Mentoring changes the lives of youth, and in many cases, the lives of mentors. Most importantly, it can change the future of the communities we serve. “We have had a longstanding partnership with both MENTOR Vermont and Mentor Connector and both organizations are supporting our current matches and will continue to work with those seeking mentoring in Southern Vermont.” says Ms. Mattern, “This will be a change for families, but we are confident that high-quality mentoring in the community will continue and even expand.”
“MENTOR Vermont aims to close the mentoring gap and drive equity through quality mentoring relationships so every young person in Vermont has the supportive mentoring relationships they need to grow and thrive,” comments Chad Butt, Executive Director of MENTOR Vermont. “We are committed to continuing to work with the community to ensuring that youth in Bennington County have the supportive mentoring relationships they need.”

Although Mentoring at UCS is coming to an end, UCS continues to provide high quality services to children, youth, and their families. “The needs of youth in our community have both increased significantly and become more critical during the pandemic,” notes Jason Fleming, Director of Children, Youth, and Family Services. “UCS is meeting these needs through innovative programming that includes Family Emergency Services (FES), Psychiatric Urgent Care for Kids (PUCK), and a variety of community-based services. We are here for our kids.”

United Counseling Service provides outpatient counseling and addictions services, emergency mental health services, extensive rehabilitation services, home and school-based services, employment services for people recovering from mental illness or with developmental disabilities and Early Childhood Services. For more information visit or call 802.442.5491.
If you are interested in mentoring or have a child seeking a mentor, please visit

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