Colorado Mesa University

The Maverick : Fall 2018

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11 FALL 2018 • VOLUME 8.1 COLORADO MESA UNIVERSITY T here is a growing number of relationships between CMU and local organizations. Community support gives CMU students opportunities to learn, research and train, which in turn inspires many of those students to give back to the community. Coordinator of Student Diversity Ky Oday and Student Services Vice President John Marshall were discussing possible opportunities last fall when the Mesa County Partners' mentoring program came to mind. "We were looking for an opportunity to partner our students with members of our community," Oday said. "We had 4,500 to 5,000 students involved in organizations and clubs on campus, and we came to the idea that maybe these members of Student Life would like to participate." A long-standing organization in the valley, Partners currently has about 90 school-aged kids waiting to be paired with adult mentors to help them overcome self-esteem issues and to provide guidance and one- on-one mentoring. Oday figured Student Life could utilize on-campus resources to host activities that would be fun and engaging for kids, while giving them a chance to become familiar with campus and explore the idea of furthering their education after high school. "A few of us take college and access to higher education for granted," Oday said. "Before working with Partners and their kids, we didn't realize how much of an impact this partnership could have on them." The university and Partners hosted their first two events last spring and received positive feedback on both sides. "We went over to the Mav Pav and had a bunch of students show up and hang out with the kids, doing activities such as dodge ball and ping pong, roping with the rodeo team and stuff like that," said Partners Mentoring Program Manager Blake Ammon. "I had kids at our last meeting ask me when they're going back to CMU. The student body is engaging with them and that's really awesome." Cultural Diversity Board Director Chantel Pine signed up to become a Partners mentor after attending one of the spring events. "I was already wanting to be a partner before, so I went to the event to get more information and I met some great people," she said. Oday and Ammon are currently in the process of scheduling more open house-format activities for this school year in addition to activities that are directly associated with specific clubs and campus organizations including the Maverick Innovation Center and Eureka! McConnell Science Museum. "Although we don't know what the future holds for some of these kids, it's nice to know our students at CMU can play a role in opening doors," he said. STUDENT PARTNERS WANTED CMU students volunteer their time to mentor youth from local organization By Cloie Sandlin "I'm just really appreciative and grateful that our students care enough to help out with this, and kudos to the great work the people at Partners do." — Ky Oday

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