College Mentors for Kids
Ithaca Community See Success with College Mentors for Kids Program
Chapter Fosters Positive Connections with Area Schools
Since its founding in 2013, Cornell’s chapter of College Mentors for Kids has had great success partnering with Caroline and Cayuga Heights elementary schools to expand the post-high school possibilities available to Ithaca children, almost a third of who come from at-risk households. The impact created by College Mentors for Kids is far-reaching and nationally recognized. Former “Little Buddies” involved in the program have been observed to enjoy higher average secondary school attendance rates when compared to the national average. Fostering personal connections between the program’s first through fourth grade students and Cornell mentors, College Mentors for Kids has proved to have positive effects for both mentors and “Little Buddies” alike and has consistently received high praise from both elementary schools.
College Mentors for Kids has served to benefit families in the area as well. The program offers a safe after-school environment, exposure to higher education, and access to positive role models. The expansion to Cayuga Heights Elementary allowed the organization to reach a larger number of single-parent or low-income households, which maximizes the influence College Mentors for Kids has on those who need it most. Brad Pollack, the Cayuga Heights Elementary principal, said, “I am very excited by the opportunity of providing mentoring experiences to some of our at-risk youth because I would like nothing more than to convince these students that college really is within their reach if they are willing to work hard and follow their dreams.” Ultimately, the program’s goal is to help the “Little Buddies” achieve their optimum potential, whatever that may be, while providing service and leadership opportunities for the college students.
Are you interested in getting involved with College Mentors for Kids? We have available positions to serve on the Mid Atlantic Regional Board of Directors. Please click here for more information.
Cornell University College Mentors for Kids celebrated National Mentor Month in January, where children were able to have hands-on experience learning about agriculture and life sciences.
“So this might be a little more “gross” of a story than you’re looking for, but my favorite moment this semester was at Ezra’s Farms in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. They have a fistulated cow to show students about their digestion, and everyone actually had the option to put on a glove and reach in. I just remember one little buddy who did it, and she thought it was super cool, but her mentor was really reluctant to put on the gloves and reach in. But after a while the little buddy eventually convinced her mentor that it was worth a try, and they were both just cracking up as she did.” –Alex, VPP
We love how this story shows that our little buddies are having as much of an impact on our mentors as our mentors have on their little buddies!
In 2013, the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation donated the seed money needed to establish a College Mentors for Kids Chapter at Cornell University. Mu Chapter’s high-profile involvement and leadership in College Mentors for Kids helped propel the Cornell Chapter to win the national Chapter of the Year Award.