By Beth Albee
Pathway Partners Executive Director
MARSHFIELD — Dylan Rottscheit and Eric Gudmunsen have created a special bond through their Pathway Partners mentoring relationship. Rottscheit, a senior, said that he chose to enroll in Pathway Partners because he wanted to generate ideas regarding where he might want to work in the future. He also desired a male role model.
Rottscheit was matched with Eric Gudmunsen in January 2015. Since that time the two have embarked on a journey that, in addition to touring job sites, going to lunch, and meeting at school, has created an exceptional bond.
With Gudmunsen’s guidance Rottscheit said that he has been introduced to new occupations, learned what different jobs require from employees, and has developed a better understanding of job opportunities in the community.
Gudmunsen became involved in Pathway Partners because he liked the concept of the program. Gudmunsen felt that being a mentor tied into his role at Opportunity Development Center as a transition coordinator/case manager. He went into the relationship feeling that he could use his knowledge to assist Rottscheit with his life goals.
It turned out that Gudmunsen had just as much to learn as he did to teach.
“Dylan taught me to take a challenge on due to his (Dylan’s) medical condition, … to fight when you need to, and to have fun when you need to,” Gudmunsen said.
Gudmunsen said that it took a few months to really get to know each other, but, “Dylan’s personality shines through and allowed me to be more fun and not so serious.”
When asked what he liked best about his relationship with Gudmunsen, Rottscheit’s eyes misted, and he said, “He has been like a father figure to me.”
Gudmunsen replied, “I am honored to hear you say that.”
Pathway Partners Mentoring Program, a United Way Partner Program, is available to all students at Marshfield High School. Students and their mentors commit to meeting one time a month during the school year. Interested community members who would like to become mentors can contact Beth Albee at 715-387-8464, ext. 4335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.