The Office of Urban Leadership (OUL) is challenging Marygrove College students to be BOLD and have a positive impact on the lives of youth in the city of Detroit. The OUL is currently partnering with several nonprofit organizations as well as an elementary school in the Cody-Rouge Neighborhood to mentor youth in after school programs. Fourteen Marygrove College students and two staff members from the OUL volunteered time at Dixon Educational Learning Academy and Developing KIDS to develop positive relationships with K-12 youth. Within the 2013-14 academic year, students spent 136 hours mentoring in community and staff volunteered 36 hours for a total of 172 mentoring hours.
In reflecting upon their mentoring experience Marygrove mentors had this to say:
- “I learned I love working with children and would like to have them be my focus area after I graduate.”
- ”Yes, I do see the connection & impact of this type of experience. I do see myself as an urban leader as life goes outside the books and other school related things.”
- “I learned to adapt to the different children as each one learns in their own way and at a different pace.”
- “Because I lived in this area I know what these kids are exposed to. It was great for them to see someone who comes from the same place, to be in college.”
This type of civic engagement for the college continues our commitment to developing our students as Urban Leaders while also promoting a positive impact on the city of Detroit. The OUL trains and certifies all of our Marygrove Student Mentors as College Positive Volunteers, who will be able to promote educational skills and college readiness to K-12 students. This exciting and engaging opportunity has allowed our Student Mentors to be responsible for leadership tasks such as serving as role models within our communities as well as assisting in the classrooms with tutoring and skills building.
The OUL has found that these experiences have not only had a profound impact on our students but have also had a positive influence on the K-12 youth we have had the wonderful opportunity to engage. The OUL continues to develop new opportunities for our students to carry out the three C’s within the mission of the college: Competence, Compassion, and Commitment. We continue to identify community partnerships enabling our students to have a BOLD impact in our community while remaining committed to educational excellence and social justice.