The Mentoring Program at Castleton State College received national recognition last year. Now organizers are seeking new mentors to continue the success.The program helps connect Castleton students with the youth of the Castleton community in a very positive way, said mentoring founder Jan Rousse. It allows college students volunteer their time mentoring students at the Castleton elementary school.
Rousse has seen the program grow rapidly since it started in 2004 and she enjoys seeing the positive effect it has not only the elementary students, but also college students.
“It’s a win win situation for both the mentee and mentor,” Rousse said.
The program is looking for responsible students to devote at least one hour a week to eat lunch, play at recess, and mentor the elementary kids. This year will mark the programs fifth year.
It will also soon be expanding to the Fair Haven community.
Justin Garritt and Stephanie Terry are the student leaders of the program. Garritt will be entering his third year of working with the program, and will be in charge of mentoring at the Castleton Elementary School. Terry, now in her second year as a student leader, will be in charge of the mentoring at Fair Haven Elementary.
The Fair Haven program will focus on mentoring seventh graders with activities that create bonds and provide educational value, Rousse said.
Jeremy Peyton, a junior at Castleton State, participated as a mentor last year and enjoyed the program so much he is doing it again this year.
“It was a good experience, and way to branch into the community to help out children who need positive role models,” Peyton said.
The Castleton students say they are mostly surprised by how much they enjoy working with young kids. Some mentors go to the elementary school as many as two or three times a week. A serious and meaningful bond is created and can help make the difference is both participants’ lives, volunteers said.
“Mentors are planting the seed helping, guiding, and directing their mentees to brighter, more successful
future,” Rousse said.
In the past year, 120 students participated in the mentoring program and 75 percent of those students were involved with athletics. Terry has been working
to involve more students who are not apart of Castleton athletics.
The first meeting for the mentoring program will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 in the Campus Center. Veterans and new mentors are welcomed. Mentors are needed due to the expansion of the programs, Rousse said. The meeting is mandatory and if you have any questions, you can contact Justin Garritt via email (Justin.Garitt@castleton.edu).