Miami University Hamilton, in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Butler County (BBBS) and Hamilton City Schools (HCS), has been awarded a $5,000 matching grant to benefit at-risk urban youth through a mentoring program focused on service learning.
Administered by the Ohio Campus Compact’s (OCC) Great Cities Great Service program, the grant will allow creation of a sustainable partnership between the three organizations that fosters leadership throughout the urban youth community, Annie Miller, director of the MUH Center for Civic Engagement said.
Miller submitted the joint application along with Jefferson (soon to be Riverview) Elementary principal Mary Anne Hughes and BBBS chief executive officer Carolyn Winslow.
As part of the grant, EDL 171, Learning Through Service, will be updated at Miami Hamilton to fit the OCC’s youthLEAD (Learn, Engage, Act, Decide) model designed to mobilize college students and urban youth volunteers in civic service. EDL 171 students will serve as mentors to BBBS' “big and little” pairs as they make plans for their volunteer efforts in the community, Miller said. Additional Miami students will serve as the "Bigs" or mentors for the youth from Jefferson.
"We have been very fortunate to have had excellent mentors who were college students. They are able to have fun with the children while helping them to excel," Winlsow said.
The OCC grant was matched by MUH while BBBS will cover costs associated with the annual Civics Day event, which will bring sixth-grade students from HCS to Miami Hamilton for a day focusing on local government and county leadership. The total value of the grant is approximately $11,000.
Daniel Hall, Miami Hamilton campus dean, said he is happy the campus is teaming with HCS and BBBS on this project.
“I am pleased to see further development of our excellent partnership with Hamilton City Schools, and I believe Big Brothers Big Sisters is a highly organized, effectual, and efficient agency,” Hall said.
“Our community is unique in that it is an urban area situated in a rural/suburban county. We (HCS) are one of few urban school districts rated ‘effective’ by the State of Ohio and Miami University Hamilton is the proud recipient of many Hamilton High School graduates. It is the mission of Miami Hamilton to serve our community, and service-learning is one of the many ways to accomplish our mission,” Hall said.
The mentoring relationships that will be established as a result of the partnership will provide support and guidance for urban youth, in part by teaching them how to take an active role in problem solving and formulating resolutions, Miller said.
For more information, contact Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.