Making an Impact Locally
Writer / Laurie Quinn . Photographer / Brenda Staples
Soon graduation will be upon us. This is a time that is thought to be full of potential and new beginnings. It is not typically a time we think of as hopeless, but this emotion is prevalent in our schools. According to the Gallup Survey, which is a survey that measures noncognitive metrics that predict student success in academic and other youth development settings, 37 percent of HSE students in grades 7-12 feel hopeless and discouraged. With statistics like this, Fishers residents should feel very fortunate to have a program such as the Youth Mentoring Initiative (YMI) actively involved in our schools. YMI offers mentoring in HSE schools by inviting caring adults into the program, training them and connecting them to students to be a listening ear. The mentors are volunteers who will not judge the students and will help them to see their full potential as a student.
One such mentor is Bill Bultman. Bultman is a native Indiana resident, who upon retirement from his career in New York, moved to Fishers to come back home to his roots. He found that he had the desire to give back to his community. For the past five years, he has been a mentor for YMI. “Life was simple when I went to school. It isn’t simple anymore,” Bultman said. In his five years of mentoring, he has found a few factors come into conversation, including divorce, parental job loss and family health issues, that have a large impact on the students. These factors can start a spiral of issues with self-image and confidence, grades can slip, and many feel like loners searching for a group in which they can feel a sense of belonging.
Bultman is passionate about giving back to Fishers. He is actively showing his mentees that he is involved in keeping Fishers on the track of being a great place to live. He is a member of the Fishers Rotary Club and the President of his homeowners association on top of volunteering his time with YMI. When Bultman is not picking a Bluegrass tune on his banjo, power walking or playing golf, he can be found making a true difference in the lives of the people in our community.
For more information on YMI, go to ymionline.org or call 317-370-9070. The first step to making a difference in a student’s life is reaching out for more information. You too can make an impact in our community.