The Clark State College Foundation is seeking community partners to mentor local young people and prepare them for college success. The Clark State Scholars program supports local high school students in the Springfield, Graham, Urbana, Clark Shawnee and Tecumseh school districts.
The Clark State Scholars Program launched in 2004 to provide educational opportunities for low-income, first-generation students in the region. Students accepted to the program receive educational and mentor support to prepare them for college. Students who successfully complete the program will receive a full scholarship for three years at Clark State.
Karen Hunt, director of the Clark State Scholars Program said by implementing Clark State Community Partners into the Scholars Program gives the business community an opportunity to become volunteer mentors, benefitting students and the company’s community involvement opportunities.
“As the Clark State Scholars program continues to grow, we are seeking volunteer mentors for our participating school districts,” she said. “We recognize that the positive influences of mentors sharing their knowledge, giving constructive feedback and being a good listener is priceless. Our students strive academically and focus on pursuing their educational and career goals when they have mentor support.”
Mentors meet with students once a month for approximately 45 minutes at their schools. Studies show that teenagers who have adult mentors are more likely to be successful and achieve their educational goals.
Huntington National Bank is the first Springfield business to pledge its support of the Scholars program by sharing mentor information with their employees and ensuring they have time once a month to support Scholar mentees. Huntington’s Community President and former Foundation board member, Philip Teusink helped facilitate this new partnership with Huntington.
“Huntington is proud to support Clark State Champion City Scholars students,” said Teusink. “Their tenacity and commitment to education will lead them to be valuable leaders in the future. We encourage our colleagues to mentor the students and are happy to help them achieve their dreams.”
Hunt said the Clark State Community Partners portion of the Scholars Program was created to fulfill a need in the community, which is to encourage students to attend college.
“The mentors are a huge part of the success of the program,” she said. “Mentors help students develop critical skills for educational success, closing opportunity gaps and developing highly skilled talent for the local workforce.”
Hunt said in her time as director, she has witnessed mentors sharing their educational journeys while encouraging, supporting and inspiring their mentees to become successful academically as well as positive examples to their peers.
For more information on the requirements to become a mentor or how to become involved as an employer, please contact Cameron Walker at 937.328.6458 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: