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RSO of the month: College Mentors for Kids builds important relationships

College mentors and elementary school mentees pose with four dogs

Illinois State’s chapter of College Mentors for Kids gives current students the opportunity to connect with local elementary school students.

President Allison Isom said the registered student organization’s (RSO’s) main priority is to reach the children who will benefit most from educational and social mentorship.

“These kids come from low income areas where their parents or guardians usually do not have a history of higher-level education,” Isom said. 

According to Isom, RSO members offer a variety of weekly experiences for elementary school students on Illinois State’s campus. These experiences differ from typical academic lessons children experience in school.

“We work to promote higher level thinking questions that get the students thinking about the future sooner,” Isom said.

Isom believes the RSO benefits people of all ages in Bloomington-Normal.

“Additionally, these kids get the chance to help out their community in various activities that promote positive growth in society,” Isom said.

College Mentors for Kids focuses on building positive relationships between mentors and buddies. Isom said RSO members love the program because they feel that they are making a strong connection with the children who participate. 

This year, the RSO adapted efficiently to the implementation of social distancing guidelines and remote learning initiatives.

“We are resilient,” Isom said. “This year, we are excited to announce College Mentors at Home, a new program model that will allow for participation from the comfort of your own home.”

Isom said the organization is made entirely of volunteers who believe in the positive impact mentors have on the children they connect with.

“Our mission is to transform the lives of these young people, and not many organizations get to work at such a personal level with the kids they serve,” Isom said.

 Illinois State’s chapter of College Mentors for Kids is one of the top performing chapters in the country. Isom said the chapter is proud of its high enrollment rates, positive evaluations from the national College Mentors for Kids office, and top fundraising achievements.