Meet the new STARS Mentoring coordinator

Published 10:13 am Thursday, July 6, 2023

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Finding the right career path can be easy for some, while others may stumble across it randomly. The latter was the case for Hallie Raimann, the new coordinator for the Success Through Adults Reaching Students program.

“What I went to school for was actually chemistry,” said Hallie Raimann, coordinator for the STARS Mentoring Program.

After doing book work for roughly a decade, she discovered she enjoyed budgeting and social networking. She also learned she enjoyed working with children.

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So this position, which encompasses recruiting, networking and working with kids — particularly those who needed extra support and connected better in their own environments — seemed like a good fit.

“It gave me a broad opportunity to use some of the skills that I was interested in,” she said. “I was a stay-at-home mom for 10 years, and then I started substitute teaching at [United South Central].”

It was in that role she discovered she loved working with children, and she planned to expand her subbing to Albert Lea Area Schools this year.

The biggest skills she felt she could bring to the position were social.

“I like to connect with people,” she said. “I made it important to be really involved in your community and understand the programs and events that they have throughout the community.”

Raimann also considers herself organized.

So far, her biggest surprise has been learning the different roles the coordinator plays, including recruiting mentors, working on budgets and preparing presentations for/staying connected with different organizations.

“There’s so much information out there to learn how to continue to grow as a program and the group to remain strong in our county,” she said.

To do that, she’d like to continue the current mentor/mentee relationships while adding more mentors and mentees.

“I think a lot of people as an adult find it’s important … for children to have mentors in their lives,” she said. “It’s just taking that step forward. It’s always harder to volunteer at the beginning, but once you start, most people find it’s really rewarding.”

Raimann has only run one event, a picnic at Pioneer Park June 20. But it was her favorite part, especially seeing the mentees catch up with each other.

Currently there are 16 mentees and 15 mentors.

Raimann, who replaced Mary Jo Volkman, has been in her new role since June 5 after hearing about the opening in May.

Anyone interested in either becoming a mentor or signing up a child as a mentee can call 507-383-5272 or visit their website at Their Facebook page is Stars for Kids. Mentors must be 18, and mentees are between 7 and 17.