Celebrating AmeriCorps Week – Part Two

March 10-16, 2019 is AmeriCorps Week. We are proud to partner with AmeriCorps, helping to provide opportunities for members to “Get Things Done.” This is part two of two posts highlighting our great AmeriCorps team members. 

Compeer Buffalo hosts Lindsay Barrett, an AmeriCorps Health360 member serving our Mental Health First Aid program, training members of the community how to identify and support individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.

Lindsay chose to join AmeriCorps for the opportunity to serve others while learning more about something truly important to her. As a member of the Mental Health First Aid team at Compeer she is raising awareness about mental health in Western New York by teaching members of the community how to help someone who is going through a mental health challenge or crisis. She is constantly inspired by the many local leaders who are dedicated to serving their communities better by being trained in Mental Health First Aid.

As an instructor in Adult Mental Health First Aid, she educates individuals on the signs and symptoms of various mental health challenges, creates innovative ways to share the impact we are making with our community. In addition to supporting the Mental Health First Aid program, Lindsay also supports the Engagement Activities that are directly serving clients.

Celebrating AmeriCorps Week 2019 – Part One

March 10-16, 2019 is AmeriCorps Week. We are proud to partner with AmeriCorps, helping to provide opportunities for members to “Get Things Done.” This is part one of two posts highlighting our great AmeriCorps team members. 

Compeer Buffalo hosts three AmeriCorps ABLE members serving our Lackawanna Leaders program, providing group and one-on-one mentoring to middle and high school students.

Malcom Bulls – Lackawanna Leaders, High School

Malcolm Bulls chose to pledge a year of service with AmeriCorps because he deeply believes in giving back to his community. He brings warmth wherever he goes and quickly earns the trust of the youth he works with.

Malcolm not only supports the Lackawanna Leaders program but is known for helping students who drop-in because they are experiencing a crisis or having a bad day. Malcolm has lent support to a young man who is in his senior year, working part time and raising a baby. He encourages another young man who got invited to a prestigious Yale program. He listens to a young lady who is new to the school and struggling to make friends.

When not at the school Malcolm can be found helping at Compeer Engagement Activities, especially at the monthly drum circle making some cool beats along with our friends!

Hannah Kroll-Haeick – Lackawanna Leaders, Middle School

Hannah Kroll-Haeick is a ray of light with the best sense of humor! She has tremendous passion for the students she mentors, often bringing in her own supplies to encourage their artistic side.

She is fluent in Spanish, making it easier to connect with many Spanish-speaking students. Hannah is known for going above-and-beyond, helping teachers in the classroom including Spanish class. She is a loved member of the school community! When Hannah was out sick for a week the students asked about her every day.

Hannah is well known for launching an Intro to Spanish session at our Compeer Engagement Activities, which was a huge hit!

Arwa Yossif – Lackawanna Leaders, Middle School

Arwa Youssif brings the calm and steady on the AmeriCorps team! She can be quiet, but the students have so much trust and respect for her. She spends countless hours on preparing creative group activities to highlight social-emotional learning lessons, such as an activity using cups and rubber bands to encourage teamwork!

Arwa is very dedicated and jumps in to help wherever needed. She has assisted with multiple Compeer group activities and field trips, even getting stuck in the mud with us at a pumpkin farm this past Fall!

Compeer Announced as Major Grant Recipient

Compeer is happy to announce that The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and the First Niagara Foundation, in partnership with KeyBank, announced on August 23, a $2.4 million grant to support the Western New York (WNY) Mentoring Collective, a cohort of nine mentoring programs throughout the region. This group includes Compeer and Say Yes Buffalo.

This large-scale investment in mentorship will utilize the expertise of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and its statewide affiliate Mentor NY to help create a learning community among Compeer and other proven local mentoring programs. The collective will benefit together from shared best practices, capacity building, mentor training, education and assessment support over the next two years.

To learn more about the grant, check out these articles!





Compeer of Greater Buffalo Appoints New Chief Program Officer

Compeer of Greater Buffalo is proud to announce its recent hire of Cheri Alvarez, who joins the Compeer team as the Chief Program Officer.

Cheri graduated from Canisius College with her Master’s Degree in Counseling Education and proceeded to commit her career to working in the Western New York non-profit community for the past 19 years. Prior to joining Compeer, Cheri served as Chief Operating Officer at YWCA WNY, and the Chief Operating Officer at Cradle Beach. Her career also includes a leadership role at Catholic Charities where she served as the Coordinator of Closing the Gap (CTG) responsible for the oversight, development and implementation of site facilitators in the Buffalo Public Schools. At Gateway-Longview she rose through positions, ultimately serving as the Director of Foster Care and Permanency Services.

“Helping others is what motivates and energizes me. Joining a team of passionate people who believe in the benefits of bringing friends together to support good mental health, makes joining the Compeer family a perfect fit,” Alvarez said.

Cheri resides in Pendleton with her husband Carlos and their two children, Caleigh and Devin. She is also a Buffalo Business First “40 Under 40” awardee (2015), and a graduate of the Health Foundation of Western and Central New York Fellows program. Cheri will be taking on the new role of Chief Program Officer where she will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Compeer Buffalo’s programs, as well as, oversee the Compeer programs internationally. Compeer currently has 50 affiliates in three countries and eight states.

You Make a Difference. Compeer Makes It Easy.

Many thanks to our good friends at Step Out Buffalo, for their recent article on Compeer and what we do. Please take a read on the article below, and fill out our volunteer interest form and online application here on our website, if you would like to sign up with us to make a difference in the lives of others.




Compeer is an organization headquartered right here in Buffalo, NY that is making #friendshipgoals happen every. single. day.

These guys are on a mission to match volunteers and mentors in one-to-one supportive friendship relationships with children, adults, military vets, and seniors who are striving for good mental health.

Why? Because the healing power of friendship helps to change lives. That’s why chatting with your mom or grandpa or best friend can make you feel like you can take on the world, even when you’re having the toughest of days.

Here’s the thing – Compeer needs volunteers to do what they do, and a lot of ‘em! That’s where you come in. Do you like making new friends? Do you enjoy hanging out with people one-on-one, face-to-face, you know…. IRL? Maybe you’re a good listener, love sharing the ups and downs of your day with someone, or enjoy being in the company of others. If so, Compeer needs you.

What to Expect as a Volunteer

Compeer recruits, screens, and matches trained volunteer friends and mentors – anyone can sign up to volunteer and get trained! Compeer is always looking for Western New Yorkers to get on board, become positive role models, help raise self-esteem, increase social and communication skills, and encourage independence for their Compeer friends.

Compeer provides a fun, flexible volunteer opportunity that fits into pretty much anyone’s lifestyle, as they only ask for a minimum of one hour per week of your time. What you do with your Compeer friend is up to you two. Our personal favorite ideas include trying new coffee shops, window shopping, bowling, and Escape Rooms. Or, now that the weather has taken a turn for the awesome, maybe a nice walk in the park!

Volunteers will learn all about the best practices of being a good friend during training. And the best part is, the one hour a week you spend volunteering can really make a difference in someone’s life.

Join Compeer on their quest to bring people together in the name of good mental health by volunteering yourself! To learn more about how you can get involved go to compeerbuffalo.org, tell ‘em we set ya. 😉


Compeer Receives Mental Health Honor

Compeer of Greater Buffalo, dedicated to recovery through the healing power of friendship, received a Spotlight on Population Health (SOPHi) Award from P2 Collaborative of Western New York.


In the category of promoting mental health, Compeer and its partner organizations, the Mental Health Association of Erie County, Jewish Family Service and Erie Community College, were honored for advocacy and education through the Mental Health First Aid program.

“The Mental Health First Aid program is truly a collaborative effort,” Compeer Executive Director Timothy Boling said. “Since we began delivering the program in April 2014, we have offered 87 trainings for 1,383 Mental Health First Aiders.”

Mental Health First Aid training teaches participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training provides the skills needed to provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis. Mental Health First Aid is an international evidence-based program: In the United States, more than 700,000 people have been trained in by a dedicated base of more than 10,000 instructors across the country.

To learn more about Mental Health First Aid Training, call Karl Shallowhorn at 465-6508 or email karlmhacompeer@gmail.com.


Buffalo Healthy Living Magazine features “Thank You For Your Service” film screening

How Compeer’s Vet-2-Vet Program is making a difference written by Annette Pinder

On Wednesday, November 16th at 7:30pm, Compeer of Greater Buffalo (Compeer) will be hosting a special screening of the award winning film documentary “Thank You For Your Service”, starring Amy Schumer, at AMC Maple Ridge 8 Theatres in Amherst, NY. The film examines how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects American servicemen and women returning home from war.

Continue reading: https://www.flipsnack.com/7BBED9F569B/november-2016.html?p=20&b=1

Get your tickets today to attend this important film screening on military mental health
Get your tickets today to attend this important film screening on military mental health


Compeer Awarded $25,000 Grant from Community Foundation

Compeer and Say Yes to Identify High School Seniors for Unique Mentoring Opportunity

(Buffalo, NY) – Compeer of Greater Buffalo, the only organization in Western New York dedicated to recovery through the healing power of friendship, announced today that the organization, through a collaboration with Say Yes Buffalo, received a $25,000 grant from The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo to conduct a unique mentoring program with low in come high school seniors currently enrolled in a City of Buffalo public or charter school.

“Our team will utilize these grant funds to match 50 students with volunteer, working professionals, mentors,” stated Timothy Boling, Executive Director, Compeer Inc. “Many of these identified students could be the first members of their families to attend college and now, because of the generous support of the Community Foundation, we will now be able to ensure they are equipped with the tools to apply for colleges, apply for financial aid, select a college to attend and prepare for the transition from high school to college.”

A key component to the program will be recruiting working professionals to become volunteer mentors to the students. Compeer and Say Yes will recruit, properly vet, train and orient volunteers. Based on the backgrounds, life experiences, interests and desires of both the scholars and volunteers, matches will then take place. Once matched, the students and volunteers will continue to receive support, resources, and guidance from Compeer and Say Yes staff. Both mentors and mentees will be required to make a minimum of an 18-month time commitment.

To learn more please visit http://sayyesbuffalo.org/supports/scholar-mentoring-program/ or contact Dan Colpoys, Assistant Executive Director at daniel@compeerbuffalo.org or call 716-883-3331 ext. 308.