Spring Hill College student mentor pilot program begins Sept. 10

Thu, 09/06/2007 (All day)

MOBILE — The Spring Hill College Albert S. Foley, S.J. Community Service Center and Mobile County Juvenile Judge Edmond Naman are teaming up for a new mentorship pilot program, Stepping Up, for at-risk youth. The program, beginning on Sept. 10, will pair Spring Hill College students with youths on probation. The youths, ages 11-17, were referred by their Mobile County probation officers to the program. Spring Hill has chosen 12 student mentors who will help guide the youths over the course of the academic year. 

Through the Stepping Up program, youths will have the opportunity to build a substantial relationship with their mentors and get homework help. Each Monday afternoon from 4 to 6:30 p.m., mentors and students will team up to work on subjects like math, reading and vocabulary. The program will focus on helping these young people become more successful in school in efforts to deter them from making poor decisions during and after school.

“Everything will be positive,” explains Dr. Kathleen Orange, director of the Foley Center at Spring Hill College. “Our student volunteers are service-minded, empathetic and work well with youths. Most of them have worked with middle school children in our school-based mentoring programs.”  In addition to any previous experience, the Spring Hill students went through further training with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The Foley Center places students in programs where they can serve others and learn about community needs at the same time. Service opportunities include tutoring at middle schools and elementary schools; teaching English as a second language; working with hospice, clinic, and hospital patients; and serving at community centers and the Boys and Girls Club.