The best thing I ever did in college was sign up to be a mentor for at-risk grade schoolers my freshman year at Indiana University. I have a much younger brother than me (he’s 15 currently, plus a 20 something sister and brother) and I missed him like CRAZY during my first year of college. I had heard about this College Mentors for Kids program, quickly signed up, was paired to a 4th grader named Baylee, and instantly fell in love with the group.
Each week, a mentor would plan an activity that taught the kids about higher education & post-college careers. All the children in the group were potential first-generation high school & college graduates for their families, came from hard lives & some of their parents were in jail, which was heartbreaking. While there were weekly ups and downs with kids moods & likes/dislikes, each week we all had the BEST time teaching the kids things, being their buddies, sharing a laugh with them and then sending them home after a super fun day.
I was instantly sucked in, becoming a Group Leader the second year (which meant I had to give up having a personal buddy, so sad), VP the next year, then Co-President and College Board Member rep my senior year. I met so many great friends, saw how we were all impacting the kids lives, year after year I loved seeing faces of kids I recognized from the year before, and how their behaviors changed for the better, as well as behavior towards college changed over the years. I wouldn’t have traded this experience for anything in the world.
This year, this month actually, CMFK celebrates their 20th year! Even post-college, I try to support them as much as possible. Learn about their success stories here, and how many children’s lives they’ve changed for the better. If you can, as I will be, please make a donation of any kind, as they’re hoping to surpass $6,000 this month!