Excited mentees, mentors and college student leaders took half-court during the Vectren Community Classic, the University of Southern Indiana (USI) versus University of Evansville (US) men’s basketball game on Monday for a special check presentation. The Vectren Foundation awarded College Mentors for Kids a three-year, $90,000 grant to support College Mentors’ signature mentor program.
In Vectren, a CenterPoint Energy Company, territories in Indiana and Ohio, College Mentors for Kids mentors 900 children across ten campus-based chapters in nine communities. The chapters are located at Anderson University, Ball State University, DePauw University, Hanover College, Indiana University, Purdue University, University of Dayton, University of Evansville, University of Southern Indiana, and Wabash College. The mentor program features:
- one-on-one mentoring relationships between elementary school children (1st– 6th graders) and college students;
- weekly, after-school, campus-based activities
- structured programming conducted in a group setting that features literacy, career exploration, and exposure to STEM majors and careers;
- service and leadership development opportunities for college student volunteers.
The mentor program connects to the Vectren Foundation’s priority of education as it helps youth develop a vision of their future related to career and education. Over a series of 18, two-hour, visits to the college campus, and time spent with their mentor, youth develop and build upon this concept. Each College Mentors chapter is established as a student organization on campus and is college student-led. This creates a dual impact on kids and college students, who learn about giving to the community and building leadership skills.
Destiny Mathews, a senior at USI and president of the university’s College Mentors for Kids chapter, shared, “It was a very exciting experience to be on the floor with over 1,000 people in the audience. Our little buddies said that they were very nervous but were super excited! We thank Vectren Foundation for this opportunity and the parents of our little buddies for trusting us to mentor them.” Mathews is also one of two college students serving on the College Mentors for Kids board of directors.
The Vectren Foundation has supported College Mentors for Kids since 2004. “Vectren is proud to partner with College Mentors for Kids and local universities to provide such a unique program to elementary students and give them the chance to envision themselves as a future college student,” said Amanda Schmitt, Vectren Foundation Manager
Shelley Hunter, College Mentors’ CEO, shared, “College Mentors for Kids is extremely grateful to the Vectren Foundation for their support and confidence in the work that we are doing. This grant will help little buddies explore future career opportunities supported by all the resources of a college campus. For the college students, they will learn leadership skills and positively impact their campus communities.”
College Mentors for Kids believes that mentoring transforms lives. We connect kids to college students through weekly on-campus activities that inspire growth, confidence, and brighter futures. Our vision is to help school children look forward sooner and be able to give back later.