Jennifer Swiderski, Illinois State University

Why did you join College Mentors for Kids?  “My freshman year, I took a three week introduction course that allowed freshmen to understand the campus and allowed for an easier transition from high school to college. The instructor of this course advised all freshman to be involved in two organizations (one organization for fun and one for your major). I joined College Mentors for Kids because it sounded like an organization that would be fun to get involved in and I knew I could make a difference in the lives of others. Little did I know that joining this organization as a confused freshman would forever change my passions and lead me to the future that I am living.”

What is your favorite thing about College Mentors for Kids?  “The list of things that I love about College Mentors is endless. One of the most important things College Mentors for Kids does is it allows elementary students and college students to learn things they never knew existed. It introduces Little Buddies to things outside the world they know of and it allows college students to explore their campuses. It also allows college students to give back to their community while exposing them to different cultures and people in the community. College Mentors allows the Little Buddies to learn from their mentors and it allows mentors to learn from their Little Buddies. College Mentors for Kids prepares college students for their future by providing them with leadership opportunities and training that will help them be successful in their future. Because I attended these leadership trainings and professional development meetings through the years, I am able to bring my knowledge to my profession and relay that information to those around me.”

A two-year chapter President, Jenn also served as a mentor to little buddy Evening and a buddy family General Manager. Jenn now teaches 6th grade at Bloomington Junior High School, where she continues mentoring former little buddies now in her classroom. Featured as a College Mentors MVP & speaker at the 2017 unGALA, Jenn is a frequent College Mentors volunteer and advocate.