UMC Mentoring and Caring Program Awarded Grant
The University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) was recently awarded a three-year grant by the Otto Bremer Foundation. The $65,000 grant will help with the coordination and staffing of UMC’s Mentoring and Caring program.
Last year UMC’s Service Learning office began studying the feasibility of implementing a youth mentoring program. The need for mentors was determined through a series of special meetings called Community Dialogues held twice each year by the UMC Service Learning office. These dialogues provide an opportunity for community members, agencies, organizations, faculty, and service-learning staff to voice community needs and brainstorm ideas for collaborating to address those needs.
Lisa Loegering, the assistant director of service learning, identified potential referral agents, interested mentors from UMC, and developed applications and protocol for the mentors and mentees. Polk County Social Services served as the referring agency and began implementing the UMC Mentoring and Caring program in the fall of 2005. Eighteen UMC students were involved as mentors to youth ages 4-17 in the Crookston area and with the support of Bremer this program will be able to continue and grow.
UMC places a high priority on student involvement in service learning and the UMC Mentoring and Caring program is another opportunity for students to have high quality community experiences for students, as well as meeting real needs in the community.