Carol Everly Miller,
How did College Mentors for Kids prepare you for life after college? “It taught me that community service needs to be a constant in my life, even as an adult. After graduation, I continued to mentor youth at a local preschool as I worked full-time in public relations. After five years, I realized I wanted to dedicate my career to working with kids, so I returned to school and obtained my teaching certification. I then taught high school for eight years, primarily teaching in the AVID program. AVID is nation-wide high school elective class that helps prepare students for college. I attribute my path to a career in teaching directly to my experience as a College Mentors volunteer.”
What do you hope to see College Mentors for Kids doing 20 years from now? “The program exists across the country and is a staple at hundreds of colleges and universities.”
What else would you like us to know about your College Mentors experience? “The College Mentors program changed my life. Twenty years ago as a mentor at IU-Bloomington, I never would have imagined the magnitude this program would have on my life, or how much the program would grow and flourish. I am so grateful and proud to have been a part of its beginnings.”
Carol served as a mentor during the first three years of College Mentors for Kids programming at Indiana University (1996-99). Now a stay-at-home mom of young children, Carol continues to volunteer in her community. She also remains in contact with her little buddy, Dylan, who is now married and has children of his own.
University of Indianapolis
How did you see the program impact college student volunteers? “I believe it impacts college students by simply understanding the world around him or her, as well as placing responsibility on that individual that good can be done in the community. As a college student, you can make a massive impact on a child that can be carried through their years.”
How did College Mentors for Kids prepare you for life after college? “College Mentors helped to prepare me in ways that I had not realized until actually being placed in certain situations. The major skill set that comes to mind is how to build a trusting relationship with a sponsor. While having a little buddy, you make a commitment every week to be a part of their world. They trust that you will be there to not just hang out, but to become a role model. This applies to my job as I need to make sure I follow through with the promises that are agreed to in a contract. College Mentors also helped me to prepare for the business environment when I was the Vice President of the UIndy chapter. I had to not only learn what was going to be asked of me, but also had to learn how to delegate duties to those that I felt could handle the job. I needed to be able to trust those around me, but also keep the mission of the organization top of mind.”
What is your favorite thing about College Mentors for Kids? “My favorite part about the organization was the joy I received from seeing a little buddy smile. That you were the reason for their happiness made all the reason for returning every week to be that Big Buddy!”
Josh volunteered as a mentor and vice president at the UIndy chapter from 2005-2008. Now Senior Manager, Partner Activation for the 500 Festival, Josh recently served as a member of the alumni committee for College Mentors for Kids’ 2017 Twentieth-Anniversary unGALA.