By Cal Brown, Assistant News Editor
The OBU Mentors Club is now working with Mission Shawnee after months of set back.
All of the potential students for the Adopt-a-School Initiative are now going through the Mentors Club. The club will be run by students. A small team of Enactus members, spearheaded by sophomore accounting major Anthony Gorum, spent months working on the merger.
“We (Enactus) thought of the idea of helping Mission Shawnee out by getting more OBU students involved in mentorship in their after-school program, said Gorum. “However we found that it was harder to get OBU students involved as we couldn’t directly advertise because of some legal issues. So we talked to Melissa Stroud and she connected us with the existing but not yet functional OBU’s Mentors Club.”
The Mentors Club was established this year as a way of connecting students to the Afterschool Program of Mission Shawnee.
The club had created a constitution and delegated roles, and their first meeting was set for September.
However, the club had no faculty advisor and every single member quit before the first meeting.
“OBU’s Mentors Club never came to fruition,” Gorum said. “The leadership backed out two months ago. We spent a long time trying to contact leadership for nothing.”’
The first meeting for potential club members was on April 8 at 10 a.m., and more meetings have been scheduled for subsequent Mondays. The club’s focus is on tutoring kids after school in low-income families.
“We will meet elementary and middle school kids,” head of Mission Shawnee Ryan Brooks said. “You can choose which grade you want. Mentors meet once a week for two hours to focus on tutoring and building relationships with a mentee. A mentor will spend 30 minutes tutoring a kid directly. We also have a Bible story we have all the kids participate in. That is the structure of everything at the moment. Boys would get paired with boys and girls would get paired with girls. At the end of the day, we need role models to be a positive influence on their lives.”
As of now, mentors would work Tuesdays and Thursday with elementary schools, and Wednesday with the middle schools.
The club is headed in a positive direction, but it will need new members if it hopes to survive. Those who’ve experienced this new direction find it worthwhile.
“I was the intern at Mission Shawnee last year,” sophomore pastoral ministry major Collyn Dixon said. “I got to hang out with lots of kids. I promise, kids will want to talk to you. Dude, they will talk about anything.”
The club will not be matching any new members with kids this year. Instead, their meetings will be focused on fixing the political side of the club.
“I don’t want to make matches right now because of the school year ending soon,” Brooks said. “We don’t know your schedule next year, so we won’t know if you would be able to work with the same kid next year. We don’t want you to get attached to each other and then not see each other after this. So far, our goal is to learn more about your interests. We try to match kids and mentors based on personality.”
Any potential club members will need to figure out their schedule so the leaders can work with them on good times to meet with kids.
“We are hoping to bring kids over to campus,” Gorum said. “Or if we get enough club members, we could carpool. We are trying to make it easier on you guys because we know not everyone has a car.”