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K-State Today

September 26, 2011

Serve 2 Succeed: New mentoring program gets first-year students involved in community and volunteer service

By Communications and Marketing

Serve 2 Succeed, a new peer-mentoring program offered by Kansas State University's School of Leadership Studies, is helping first-year students learn firsthand about community engagement and volunteer service.

The School of Leadership Studies was selected to participate in Serve 2 Succeed by AmeriCorps and the Kansas Campus Compact. The program lets upperclassmen at K-State mentor first-year students. Serve 2 Succeed's goals are to increase student retention and community engagement/volunteer services.

The mentors and first-year students will be involved with six community service projects over the next year. The students will complete 300 hours of service during the time of service, which started in August and goes to July 2012. Program coordinators are Gilbert Davila, assistant professor of leadership studies, and J.R. Love, a graduate assistant in the School of Leadership Studies.

Ten K-State students have been selected to serve as student mentors this year.

"We see this as a way for new freshmen to feel a level of comfort and support within the university as they begin their career at K-State," Davila said. "These mentors will provide academic support and encouragement for these students. They will also track service hours and submit monthly reflections."

K-State Serve 2 Succeed advisory board members include: Kevin Cook, assistant director of housing and dining services; Emily Lehning, assistant vice president for new student services; and Pedro Espinoza, College of Education dean's office.

AmeriCorps is a federal program that provides grants to public and nonprofit organizations that sponsor community service programs around the country, including faith-based and community organizations, higher education institutions, and public agencies.