Summer Session provides a brand new opportunity – a Service-Learning course at UMass Amherst, “Athletes as Mentors.”
The UMass football team and several women’s Basketball team members are enrolled a UMass summer session Service-Learning course. Gathering to meet as a class once a week, we cover material such as: Knowing the Community, Knowing the Community Partner, Social Identity, Personal Narrative and more. Then the athletes spend a few hours a week (about 20 hours per athlete over the course of 8 weeks) serving with programs in nearby Holyoke, Mass. at the Holyoke Boys and Girls Club. There is also a day when the youth come to campus for a field day.
One of the things being covered in the class time is learning to tell one’s story in a way that enables youth see various pathways to college using an “I did it and so can you!” approach. Several of the athletes will be sharing parts of the their narrative on video, including being interviewed, filmed and edited by Holyoke youth! Others will be interviewed for the HBGC and UMass CESL newsletters. A VISTA member from the CESL office works with HBGC staff to keep things running smoothly!
Athletes as Mentors is a fantastic opportunity for UMass athletes to connect with local youth and to share their personal narrative in a way that is an inspiration to others. It’s also wonderful connection for the youth, as they meet the athletes “up close and personal” and learn about their experiences and how they got from middle school to college.