TeamMates Mentoring CEO, DeMoine Adams, talked about the work of the program with Seward Rotary Club on Wednesday, November 02, 2022.
TeamMates Mentoring CEO, DeMoine Adams, addressed the Seward Rotary Club as the first November program, coordinated by Rotarian Anita Foor.
Adams, a former Husker football star, reviewed some of the key history points on the TeamMates program, stating that the program was started 31 years ago by Tom and Nancy Osborne to make a difference both on and off the football field with a mentoring program.  Osborne used UNL football players as the first mentors and started with 22 TeamMates pairs.  As a result of those 22 pairings, 21 students graduated on time and the other followed later, with 18 going on to achieve some form of higher education.  The TeamMates mentors are asked to meet with the student once a week at school.  The mentors only meet during the school day, at school, for safety reasons. 
As the program grew, Tom Osborne approached the people of Lincoln to become TeamMates mentors and the program has continued to grow into five states. Teammates is in 191 school districts, 150 school districts in Nebraska alone, however the program is also in Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas and Wyoming. 
Currently there are over 10,000 TeamMates Mentors and in Seward there are currently 33 TeamMates Mentors.   Prior to the Pandemic, Seward’s School District had 75 TeamMates Mentors and they are now rebuilding the program.  Statewide the growth goal is an overall 10 percent increase, but Adams noted that he is confident Seward can improve on that 10 percent goal.
Adams started with the TeamMates program as their Scholarship Coordinator.  He noted that 68 percent of TeamMates students qualify for ‘Free and Reduced” lunch and 71 percent have parents where neither one graduated from a higher system of learning after high school.  Today, 68 percent of the TeamMates students pursue a higher level of education after high school and TeamMates have “stepped up” their scholarship programing.  He noted the theme they try to convey is “Attendance, Grades and Behavior!”
Last year, 808 TeamMates students were seniors that graduated and 98 percent graduated on time, with a GPA average of 3.1.  Adams pointed out that research has proven that 98 percent of the students “Trust” their mentor and because of them, they are more “hopeful!”
He presented the annual report for TeamMates with the theme “HOPE.”  He stressed that “students need to connect, and need positive influences.”  He promoted the TeamMates program, stressing that there is always a need for mentors.  Students can become a TeamMates student in one of three ways:  1) self nomination, 2) parents can nominate a student and the student agrees, and 3) a teacher or counselor can make a nomination but the student must agree to be mentored by a TeamMates mentor.   The mentor is required to visit their student once a week for a 30 minute visit.  He noted that research has shown that another adult influence in a student’s life to create a positive influence, assists in keeping that student strong and goal oriented. 
Adams challenged the members of Rotary to sign-up to be a mentor and saluted both the Rotarians who have been TeamMates mentors in the past and those who are currently mentors.  He defined a mentor as one with “unconditional” loyalty and love for the student, always being there with emotional support.  He compared a mentor to the cheerleader for a sports team -unconditional loyalty and always pulling for the team. The mentor is always pulling for their student and never “gives up” on the student, regardless of the circumstance. 
Adams encouraged the Rotarians to consider giving 30 minutes a week as a mentor as Seward currently needs 15 TeamMates mentors immediately.  He pushed that “Strong Leadership is Key” for these students - they need a model and this is an opportunity to give back to the community.  Adams noted that Tom Osborne, even today, still works with two TeamMates students every week.  He concluded fielding questions from the members of the Club and thanked them for living their motto of “Service Above Self,” noting that the TeamMates program fits well with that motto. 
For more information, connect with TeamMates on social media or visit for an application to become a TeamMates mentor.  To contact DeMoine Adams, email him at