Campus Connections is a wellness and resiliency-oriented service-learning course that pairs UCCS students and youth from the community in mentor-mentee relationships. Students participating in the program can receive 3 credits as part of the service-learning/fieldwork course COUN 4950.
Mentors spend four hours once a week with their mentees providing academic support, career planning and promoting positive social skill development. “Mentors are given the opportunity to gain real-world experience as well as an opportunity to give back to the younger generation,” said Molly Cammell, Campus Connections program manager.
The program launched during the Spring 2019 semester. Since then, it has helped 62 at-promise youths and inspired more than 60 UCCS students on their post-college journey. “Many of our mentors have chosen to pursue careers in counseling and other helping professions as a result of their work with Campus Connections,” said Cammell.
Mentors strive to strengthen their mentee’s life skills, self-confidence and engagement in the community but their impact can be seen more directly in the classroom. “Their school counselors have said they do better in school when they have the help of their mentor and really benefit from having an adult outside of their family to talk to each week,” said Cammell.
With the possibility of the program remaining online in the spring due to ongoing concerns around COVID-19, that isn’t stopping mentors from continuing the mission of the program. “The world may be operating remotely but people still want human connection- especially our middle schoolers,” says Cammell. “The need for mentorship of our at-promise youth does not change with the format.”
Students interested in becoming a mentor for the Spring 2021 semester should fill out an application and send it to Molly Cammell at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can learn more about the program by visiting the Campus Connections website.