Some people are preparing to go home to wind down from a frustrating semester; others are getting fitted for gowns, hats and stoles. As for the GSU graduating seniors involved in the Intergenerational Mentoring Program (IMP), they prepared to spend their last Saturday with their mentees before they graduate and move on as alumni. The Intergenerational Mentoring Program is a nonprofit organization that caters to children in the Grambling and Ruston area. The program has a three generation of volunteers involved, hence intergenerational. The oldest generation mentors to the college students- the junior mentors, who mentor to the youngest generation- the school age mentees.
Among the 10 founders, Dr. Gerald Ellis and Dr. Walter Davis are previously the codirectors of the program. Over the past nine years they have nurtured the program, helped it to grow and keep it going.
The program allows children to spend time with their mentors so that they can bond. From the donations given to the program, the children have been able to take trips to the Planetarium and Louisiana Tech science center- the IDEA Place, the circus when it comes to town and the Sci-Port, Chimpanzee Reserve and the Shreveport State Fair. The children have also attended health awareness seminars and enjoyed art and science days when professors from Grambling have done projects with the mentees and mentors.
Since the program is non-profit, there is an advisory council, which provides monetary support. Contributions of space and van travel are donated by New Rocky Valley Baptist Church.
What is special about IMP is that some of the children have grown up in the program. Either their parents work at GSU or they have become senior mentors and they want their children to be involved.
The program participants gather on Saturdays. The mentors usually meet an hour before the children arrive to go over business and plans for the day. Once the children arrive the mentors get into the routine of spending time with their mentees. If a mentor doesn’t show up, the others are trained and appointed to take care of the mentee(s) so no child is left unattended.
August will bring the start of a new semester. New mentors and mentees will join returning members for activities.
If anyone is interested in getting their child into an extra-curricular activity, the program will be accepting children (mentees) from grades 3-12. The biggest fall event will be the 10th anniversary celebration in October during homecoming.
If one is interested in becoming a junior mentor please contact Dr. Walter Davis at (318) 274-2810 or Tiana Phillips at (661) 265-5112 for more information.