Mentor PLUS Program Celebrates ‘Shining Stars’
Alma College’s Mentor PLUS is hosting a “Shining Stars” celebration to honor the program’s mentors and youth mentees. The event, which will be held in the Tyler-Van Dusen Center on Thursday, Jan. 21 at 5:30 p.m., is part of Michigan Mentoring Month.
New students, who are being paired up this week, also are invited. Some of these mentor and mentee matches may meet each other for the first time at the celebration.
“The event is a way to showcase the efforts of the mentors and for the new matches to see the trust and closeness between mentor pairs who have been matched for at least one year and the relationship they have built,” says Susan Smoker, coordinator of the Alma Public Schools Explore Program.
Students in the program, which is designed to provide a mentor support system for Alma middle school and high school youth, continue to build this relationship throughout summer, often through snail mail.
“A lot of relationship building happens through letters and postcards during this time because students feel comfortable sharing more about themselves this way rather than face-to-face,” says Smoker.
At the “Shining Stars” celebration, students will walk the red carpet, where they will have their picture taken with their mentor and printed to take home.
The event also will have a match-building activity involving an egg drop, a raffle with prizes, and a mentor recognition ceremony.
Mentors were asked to bring in a childhood picture, which will be numbered and displayed on a poster board. Mentees get to see—and have to guess—what their mentor looked like at their age.
Alma College students make up the majority of mentors in the program, which is funded by a Corporation for National and Community Service Learn and Serve grant, but community members also are welcome to participate.
The program, a collaboration between Alma College and the Alma Public Schools Explore Program, aims to “change lives, two at a time,” but its success reaches beyond mentoring.
“Andria Baker, our Mentor PLUS student intern and a Constantine sophomore, wrote a Mentor Michigan mini-grant to get funding for the celebration,” says Anne Ritz, coordinator of Alma College Service Learning. “The proposal was awarded $525.”
Posted: Wed, January 13th, 2010 at 8:50AM