Grantee Spotlight: College Mentors for Kids
Guest blog was contributed by Tony Barenie, Development Associate for CMFK. Tony graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Purdue University in 2009. After graduation, Tony worked as a freelance grant writer and public relations coordinator focused on higher education and cultural programs. That experience intensified his passion for giving back to the community, leading directly to working with College Mentors for Kids.
College Mentors for Kids’ (CMFK) mission is to connect college students with the most to give to kids who need it most. Thanks to our friends at Willow Marketing, we now have a short video that tells our story beautifully: check it out here.
We would like to first say thank you to Circle of Sisterhood for generously granting CMFK $2,000 to support two female mentor-child pairs for an entire year. Thanks to their contribution, two college women mentored elementary school girls who needed a caring and responsible role model in their lives. Through the mentor program, they visited a college campus 20 times throughout the year and learned the importance of education, self-reliance and future economic sustainability.
Like the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation, we understand the transformative power of education and know it can break down barriers and provide opportunities for a better future. This is especially evident in the story of one of our mentors, Hannah, and her mentee, Rebecca. After just one year paired together, Rebecca learned that education is vital to pursuing her dreams. When we asked Rebecca what she wants to do when she grows up, she shared “I want to be a veterinarian. You have to go to college to take care of animals!” Thanks to dedicated mentors like Hannah, Rebecca is inspired to achieve more.
Our mentors are equally impacted by these relationships. Hannah talked with us about her own learning experiences: “Rebecca has taught me so much since we were paired together, and that it’s important to be involved. Through College Mentors, I discovered my passion and am now pursuing pediatric medicine.”
We know there are thousands of dedicated and caring active members of sororities on the 23 campuses in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky that College Mentors operates chapters; we would like to invite all of these women to be mentors in our program! By volunteering as a mentor, you have the chance to make a difference in a child’s life while gaining leadership experience that directly transfers into future careers.
Sheila Seedhouse, a program alumna said,
In quiet moments of self-reflection, I wonder how I went from being a pre-med college student five years ago, to a principal in IPS. Time and again, I realize it is because of my experiences with College Mentors. Working with the students and staff at College Mentors opened my eyes to what is the equivalent to the civil rights movement of our era. Whether it is for the little buddies in College Mentors for Kids, my students in Chicago, or my school here in Indianapolis, I am driven to eliminate the achievement gap that continues to persist in our country.
CMFK would also like to invite all sorority women and alumnae to nominate their own personal mentor for an Inspire Award. The Inspire Awards is College Mentors for Kids’ annual awards luncheon that recognizes mentoring excellence in the community and in the workplace. For more information, please visit our website.
Thank you again to Circle of Sisterhood – we are proud to be partners in providing the tools and inspiration that help all women and girls succeed!
Post was contributed by Tony Barenie, Development Associate for CMFK. Tony graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Purdue University in 2009. After graduation, Tony worked as a freelance grant writer and public relations coordinator focused on higher education and cultural programs. That experience intensified his passion for giving back to the community, leading directly to working with College Mentors for Kids.