The room was filled with high energy and laughter as Campus Corps celebrated the closing to its 12-week session Thursday night.
Last week was the end for all the sessions of the Corps, a CSU class in which students work with youth who have entered the juvenile justice system in middle and high school and are in need of positive and goal-directed support from mentors.
Each one closed with a celebration for the mentors and the mentees and their families.
The at-risk youth, ages 10-17, are matched with the same CSU student mentor for one night each week throughout the semester, taking part in activities like guitar lessons, martial arts, cooking classes, dancing and homework support.
At Thursday nightâ€™s celebration, they showed a slideshow of pictures, welcomed by laughter and applause from mentors, mentees, parents and siblings.
â€œThis is so exciting, but also really sad. We have had a really good time together,â€ said Toni Zimmerman, Campus Corpâ€™s principal investigator. â€œAbout 50 percent of CSU student mentors have already expressed desire to want to come out and do this again, and about 17 of the kids have also asked to come back.â€
At the end of the presentation, each mentor and mentee was called up to receive his or her certificate of completion.
Elizabeth Leathers, a human development and family studies major and a student mentor for Campus Corps, said if she had time next semester she definitely would want to do it again.
â€œThe one-on-one experience was the best part about something like this. It really benefits the youth, and it was something I looked forward to every week,â€ Leathers said.
Although the spring 2011 session has already closed the application process, Campus Corps is open to all majors for those wanting to make a difference in the lives of youth. For questions, e-mail Jen Krafchick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff writer Sarah Banes can be reached at email@example.com.