Excited about his scheduled visitors, a third grader at College Prep Elementary asked, “When are our St. Thomas friends coming?” The answer is – soon.
St. Thomas' Tutor-Mentor Program will begin its 22nd year this fall. In this program, volunteers from UST spend from one and a half to two hours a week working with students from local elementary, middle and high schools in the metro area, helping them with their coursework or other academic activities.
The program makes it easy for undergrads to get involved in their communities. Tutor-Mentor works with its volunteers to find placements according to their availability and access to transportation. "It's a great way for students to meet people, enhance their résumés, and satisfy requirements for courses such as Business 200 and for clubs and organizations," remarked CILCE's Betsy Bance.
Applications are available at the CILCE office in Room 153, Murray-Herrick Campus Center, and must be returned by Friday, Sept. 16.
In the past, Tutor-Mentor has involved 170 to 200 students per semester, each of whom donate approximately 20 hours of their time. This year, the Tutor-Mentor Program hopes to reach its goal of giving 4,000 hours to the community.
"The most important reason to participate in the Tutor-Mentor Program, however, is unique for each individual. Although it may be daunting for undergrads to add activities to their already busy schedules, past participants have looked forward to their school visits as a highlight of the week," Bance said. "Tutor-Mentor provides the opportunity to make connections that both students and the youth they work with will treasure long after graduation."
It is not unusual for the program to see repeat participants. Graduate student Sarah Farnes has been in the program each year of her undergraduate and graduate student career – a total of seven years. UST senior Erica Fox, who is returning to Tutor-Mentor this fall for her seventh semester, says she loves it because, “the kids immediately attach to you. You can see something click. Seeing the smile on their faces really brightens your day.”
For more information about the Tutor-Mentor Program call the CILCE office, (651) 962-6800.