Students Find Buddies with Columbia's College Mentors For Kids

December 19, 2014

This semester marks the first of what will surely become a school staple: College Mentors for Kids at OLQA. Twenty-seven OLQA 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders are participating in this exciting new program in which they are buddied one-to-one with Columbia undergraduate students.

College Mentors for Kids (College Mentors) is a national non-profit that pairs undergraduates with elementary school students with the goal of helping the “little buddies” understand the importance of education, of showing them the benefits to cultural understanding, and of teaching them how to contribute to their communities. Students are paired with mentors who share their interests and they meet once a week on Columbia’s campus. Each session is well planned, with insightful and educational activities that have students exploring university research labs, lecture rooms, libraries, dining halls, and other facilities. As College Mentors has grown and expanded across university campuses nation-wide, Columbia chose OLQA as their inaugural school in New York City. We are honored and blessed.

OLQA students are thrilled to be involved, and are eager to see their mentors, with whom they are already forming special bonds. “I love my mentor Johnathan,” says Fandio K., in 1st grade. “He studies Science and I get to go to college every Thursday to see him.”

College Mentors at Columbia will continue its partnership with OLQA indefinitely, expanding the program each year as the first cohort of students moves up a grade. This structure means that Fandio will go to OLQA and “to college” at Columbia for many months to come.