The program was created through the collaboration of four individuals from four separate school districts and was field tested for six years as The West Canyon Mentoring Project. Funding was provided by a 3 year State Dept. of Educ. grant and a 3 year Federal (JUMP) grant through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  

Prior to funding coming to an end in September 2005, a 501c3 was formed, The Mentoring Network, Inc. to continue the incredible need in rural school districts for one-on-one school-based mentoring services.

Executive Director, Donna Shines

Donna Shines came to the program in 2004 as the project director for the West Canyon Mentoring Project in its final year on a federal JUMP (juvenile mentoring program) grant. At the completion of the grant, in the fall of 2005, she became the executive director for the newly formed non-profit, The Mentoring Network, Inc., replacing the previous name.

After finishing high school in Caldwell, Donna attended college at Boise State University, Utah State University, University of Hawaii at Hilo graduating from Boise State with a degree in physical education (K-12). Donna later earned an endorsement in Special Education K-12.

Work experience includes the Boise Family YMCA in the areas of aquatics and fitness/wellness programming for 10 ½ years followed by a management position at Court Sports Fitness Center in Caldwell for 3 years. Donna then turned her attention to special education, teaching at Caldwell High School for 12 years.

Donna's unique background involves working in the fields of aquatics and fitness, management, education, and volunteering for numerous community organizations along the way (Caldwell Rotary Club, Parma Lions Club, Special Olympics Idaho, Caldwell YMCA, and Caldwell Mayor’s Committee on Youth). She brings boundless energy and enthusiasm to the unique needs of this growing program.