Martin County seeks mentoring leader

FAIRMONT – Martin County is looking for a coordinator for its mentoring network, after Val Jepsen was hired in the county’s probation department.

Jepsen will begin as an administrative assistant for the probation department next week.

“We had 59 applicants and 14 were interviewed,” county coordinator Scott Higgins said of the administrative assistant position.

Jepsen has served as coordinator for Martin County Mentoring Network since January 2012. The network has 46 children matched to different mentors in Martin County.

Commissioners briefly discussed whether the position should be refilled, but agreed it is a need.

“It’s scary to think what it would be like without it,” Commissioner Steve Pierce said of the program. “We have a phenomenal record, well above the surrounding counties, and it comes down to that we’re getting to them while they’re young enough.”

Martin County’s mentoring network has received statewide recognition, by matching children in the court system to area mentors.

“You see a difference in them when they are mentored,” Higgins said.

The program receives several thousand dollars worth of grants each year for operating expenses.

Commissioners unanimously approved recruiting a new coordinator.

In other business, commissioners approved and designated Martin County Soil and Water Conservation District to develop a countywide aquatic invasive species prevention program.