The Edmond Sun

Education

January 7, 2014

UCO helps find mentors for Edmond students

EDMOND — The University of Central Oklahoma’s Volunteer and Service Learning Center hosted a recruitment drive for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma on campus in November that netted 111 student, faculty and staff mentors, or “Bigs,” for Edmond elementary school students.

Central, named the 2013 University Champion for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma in October, hosted the drive to help meet the need for mentors for 92 Edmond students who were on a waiting list.  

“UCO has shown a true commitment to impacting the lives of at-risk children through our one-to-one mentoring program. As the nation’s leading incarcerator of women and coming in third for men, it is critical that Oklahomans take a serious look at what this ultimately costs our state in lost potential, innovation and productivity,” said Rachel Hernandez, Central alumna and Oklahoma City area director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma.

The new mentors are currently in the enrollment process, which typically takes about 90 days. During that time, mentors are interviewed, vetted through background and reference checks, and then matched to students according to preferences and interests.       

Mentors can choose to volunteer in either a community-based or school-based programs. In the community-based program, mentors do at least one activity per month with their “Little.” In the school-based program, mentors spend time with students during school hours.

For more information about UCO’s service initiatives, visit www.uco.edu/student-affairs/vslc.

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