The College Mentors for Kids program cultivates ongoing one-on-one relationships between college students and elementary-aged students through shared experiences on campuses and in communities. For the duration of the school year, college students are paired with elementary students, creating a buddy pair. These buddy pairs meet in groups for weekly activities on campus. Through these activities, children explore new opportunities and begin to develop a larger sense of the world and their place in it.
College Mentors for kids originated at Indiana University in 1996. Since then, College Mentors has grown to be a national organization with 32 chapters serving over 2,700 children across the United States through the volunteer efforts of over 3,300 college students.
In 2000, the University of Southern Indiana started its own chapter. The members mentor children from Glenwood Leadership Academy every Tuesday from 3:00 p.m. until 5 p.m., except for finals weeks and school breaks, during the academic year. At the weekly meetings, Big Buddies and Little Buddies focus on an activity from one of the following three areas: Higher Education, Community Service, and Culture and Diversity. Each activity ties into the college experience with the "college question of the week," which allows little buddies the opportunity to learn more about college. All of this provides valuable educational experiences and exposure to higher education, the arts, diverse cultures and community service.
Currently, the USI chapter has four families, one for each grade from first through fourth. Each family group has a general manager who oversees the activities.
College Mentors accepts and welcomes USI students of all races, cultures and backgrounds into its membership. If you would like more information about College Mentors For Kids, contact Cesar Berrios-Chavarria, the site manager, at 812-465-7188.