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Profiles
STUDENT
SUCCESS
Correa said the high-schoolers learned about
the value of staying in school, graduating and
going to college. Plus, she added, the teens
often received support and encouragement
from mentors who had overcome similar
personal challenges.
"Mentors show the power of relationship
building," said Correa. "These college
mentors establish rapport with our high
school students. They learn what the kids are
interested in and really get to know them.
It's so important to have a mentor in your life."
Kylee Gonsalves, a Criminal Justice student
who graduated in December, mentored LHS
student Rithy. "We met every week, as much
as possible, and we texted. I helped him with
his homework, or just talked about work and
how the day was going," said Gonsalves.
"Having a mentor helped me relax," said Rithy.
"It reduces the stress, knowing you have
someone you can share connections with."
Charles Sillari mentored Sonia. "I'm in CJ, so
I'm all about helping others," he said. "I didn't
have a role model in my life, so I helped her
with her homework, and we texted."
C
riminal Justice Professor
Lynda Pintrich's "Law,
Justice & Society"
course has always included a
Service-Learning component. As
part of their grade, her students
are required to volunteer four
hours per week in a community
agency of their choice.
However, last semester Pintrich
turned her usual individual volunteer
requirement into a Service-Learning
group pilot project. As a class, the
dozen students enrolled in her course
mentored teenagers in PALS (Partners
in Achievement of Lowell Students).
PALS matches Lowell High School
students, who are at risk of dropping
out, with mentors from UMass Lowell
and Middlesex, explained founder
Carla Correa, an LHS social worker.
The program focuses on teens
facing overwhelming personal and/
or family challenges like poverty,
homelessness, abuse and addiction
that cause them to stop
attending school.
At the end of the semester, Pintrich
and Correa were pleased to see that
all their students had benefitted from
the pilot program. The Middlesex
students many of them Criminal
Justice majors gained valuable
experience getting to
know at-risk youth,
said Pintrich.
"By doing this kind of
work (mentoring), my
students started to
realize the tremendous
impact poverty can have
on your life," she said.
"And they learned that not
everybody is abusing the system."
Service-Learning
Mentoring Project
Benefits
MCC
and
LHS
Students
Art Desrosiers and Sara Yance, both Criminal
Justice majors graduating in May, co-
mentored Jaren and Savy. Desrosiers said he
met regularly with his mentees and helped
them with their homework. "Mentoring
definitely helped the high school students,"
said the former U.S. Marine. "And it was good
for us (college students) to go out into all
sorts of different communities."
Service-Learning Coordinator Leah Pronovost,
who works part time at both MCC and LHS,
suggested that Pintrich make the change to
a class-wide project. Pronovost was familiar
with PALS, as well as with the Criminal
Justice professor's long-time commitment
to incorporating Service-Learning into her
courses. Pintrich agreed it was a perfect fit.
" `Law, Justice and Society' is more of a
sociology course," she explained. "It explores
how society makes public policy and why.
We examine things like the education system
and drop-out rates. Just about every issue we
Kylee Gonsalves (right) met every week with
her mentee, high school student Rithy.
s
Criminal Justice Professor L
ynda Pintrich'
s "Law, Justice & Society"
class
Middlesex Criminal Justice majors Sara Y
ance
(left) and Art Desrosiers (right) mentored LHS
student Jaren.
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