THIBODAUX – Nicholls State University received $30,000 from the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors on Friday, March 27, to fund One Campus, One Community: A Mentoring Program and Community Partnership. The program will be conducted by the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services and will pair 50 college students with 50 middle-high school students within a 25-mile radius of the university.
Funded by Learn and Serve America and the Louisiana Department of Education, the grant is one of several – totaling $240,000 – that will be awarded to the UL System’s eight universities, linking college students with at-risk youth to improve literacy, numeracy and interpersonal skills.
The courses will begin in the spring of 2010 and will emphasize tutoring and college preparatory assistance activities. Students will also enjoy social activities designed to broaden their horizons and familiarize them with opportunities, including higher education. The project will focus on facilitating engagement between the students of Nicholls and the surrounding communities, pairing an additional 50 college and 50 middle-high school students each year – impacting 150 middle-high school students over three years.
“At Nicholls, we are a diverse community with myriad interests and obligations, but we stand united in our desire to be genuine neighbors and to meet the needs of our region and our state,” said Dr. Rushton Johnson, author of the grant and dean of student life. “I am very excited about the opportunity to connect Nicholls students with the youth of the Bayou Region in a meaningful way. While we have much to offer, we also have much to learn and much to gain. Mutual service and transformation is the heart of One Campus, One Community.”
UL System President Randy Moffett said the mentoring programs “are primed to have a tremendous impact – one college student and one at-risk student at a time. As the largest provider of education graduates in the state, mentoring initiatives such as these are a natural outgrowth of the symbiotic relationships UL System schools have with their local elementary and secondary schools.”
State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek said the UL 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.”