Treehouse provides support to local teens

Published: Sep. 18, 2022 at 6:12 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The Tandem Mentorship Program has been working to help teenagers find a place where they belong for the past 6 years. Now, it’s joining a nonprofit called Treehouse, which will provide additional resources of mentorship, curriculum and support to local teens.

“We work with 13 to 18-year-old teens,” TJ Gouker, Eau Claire Treehouse Area Director, said. “Most of them are in some form of hardship or adversity that they’re facing. So, foster care, juvenile detention, those types of areas. But, our mission is to end hopelessness among teens.”

The program has three central messages they want to instill in others.

“Those three truths that we talk about a lot are: I’m lovable, capable and worthwhile; I’m loved without strings and never alone; and, I have a future,” Gouker said. “So, those are what our are meant to incorporate and how do we start to believe those things about ourselves so that our relationships, so that our behaviors reflect that as we go through our life.”

Treehouse prioritizes emotional support to local teens.

“Our programming is very much focused on emotional wellness, mental health,” Gouker said. “So, we run support groups, we run a mentoring program. We do service opportunities in the community, community nights within our organization.”

Kahmara Kelly, one of the graduates of the program, said it was a great resource.

“It helps you with mental health and supporting you and if you need help, you can just always reach out to them and it just gives you a reason to be here, I guess because there’s just so many people that love you and care about you, even if they don’t know you that well,” Kelly said. “They’re just so welcoming.”

Kelly said she really enjoyed her time with the organization.

“It just makes me so happy when I’m here and it just feels like I’m actually wanted,” Kelly said.

Treehouse holds program events Tuesday nights from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Renew Church. It also hosts volunteer interest meetings weekly over Zoom for those who are looking to get involved.

You can contact TJ Gouker for additional information at