March 30, 2009|
From: Laura Harris, Director of Media Relations
ULM receives $30,000 grant that will benefit Monroe City Schools
The University of Louisiana at Monroe received $30,000 to establish the Warhawks Mentoring Program, an initiative that will improve literacy, numeracy and interpersonal skills in Monroe's at-risk youth. The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System awarded the grant, funded by Learn and Serve America and the Louisiana Department of Education.
ULM Vice President for Student Affairs Wayne Brumfield secured the award in collaboration with colleagues Catherine Estis of ULM's Project Talent Search, Pamela Higgins Saulsberry of the social work department, and Ann Findley of the biology department.
The Warhawks Mentoring Program will utilize 50 carefully trained students from the College of Arts and Sciences to focus on mentoring 50 ninth-grade high school students from Wossman High School and Carroll High School.
Through one-on-one relationships, the mentors will provide personal and academic guidance, encouragement, and structured college and career readiness skills training to ensure that students gain basic skills and information to succeed in high school and enroll in a post secondary program.
Individualized attention, special events and exposure to ULM’s campus and students will help mentees begin to envision their potential and to develop specific plans for future success. The program will run through the 2009-2010 school year, with a goal of continuing beyond the term of the present grant.
Of the new project, Brumfield said, “This is crucially important because this kind of mentoring will provide high school students opportunities to partner with ULM students; we believe that collaboration will guide these nine-graders through their high school years and encourage them to attend college.”
ULM is one of eight universities to receive a service learning grant focused on mentoring.
“There is a real need in our state for more hands-on learning and support,” said UL System President Randy Moffett. “With all eight of our universities strategically located throughout Louisiana, these sustainable mentoring programs are primed to have a tremendous impact - one college student and one at-risk student at a time.”
The mentoring programs are designed to link 400 mentors with almost 1,000 at-risk students, enhancing the Louisiana Department of Education’s College and Career Readiness programs. The Department of Education contributed $80,000 towards this partnership.
“As the K-12 education community works to support our students and prepare them to successfully pursue their college and career goals, well-designed mentoring programs are vital to our efforts,” said State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek. “The University of Louisiana System is a valued partner to the Louisiana Department of Education as we attempt to raise student achievement through targeted initiatives, and we are grateful for Dr. Moffett’s consistent support through this program as well as many others. This is a unique occasion for college level students to serve their communities and for high school students to catch a glimpse of the opportunities that await them after graduation. I have no doubt that if they take advantage of the opportunity – both groups of students will learn and benefit from the experience.”
In addition to the Department of Education funding, the grants are a final $160,000 distribution of a three-year, $1.2 million grant to the UL System from the Corporation for National Community Service’s Learn and Serve America division. Over the past three years, the UL System has awarded over $1 million to 70 projects that incorporated service-learning on its eight campuses.
While some of those projects are still underway, they have already engaged 8,462 college students, 675 faculty and staff, 201 youth volunteers, 1,276 adult volunteers, and 243 community partners. These participants have logged almost 100,000 hours of service to Louisiana’s communities.