A program at Ohio State University is giving new meaning to mentorship.
Mentor-A-Buckeye is a unique mentorship initiative that pairs Ohio State undergraduates with ninth graders from underprivileged Columbus City Schools and a community leader who serves as a mentor to both students.
The aim of the program is to motivate both the high school student and Ohio State undergraduate to challenge themselves to continuously improve, become engaged in their communities and succeed in their academic pursuits.
This unique mentorship trio remains together for the protégé’s high school career, with the hope that most pairs of students will graduate at the same time so they can relate through parallel experiences, from school work to peer pressure to career goals.
Mentors are asked to make a four-year commitment to the project and contact their protégé a minimum of twice a month, with at least one phone call and one in-person meeting. Mentors not only assist their mentees with homework and in applying to college, they also help them build relationships with peers and teachers, provide motivation to continue their education and serve as a support system.
Mentor-A-Buckeye is one of 50 community service projects under the Buckeye Civic Engagement Connection, a group of programs through the university’s Office of Student Life based in mostly poor and predominantly black neighborhoods in Columbus.
The program began in 2014 with a pioneering cohort of 10 college mentors. The next cohort of mentors will be chosen this semester.