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Junior Creates Mentoring Program to Aid Local Youth

12/07/16

Before she created a mentoring program at nearby Colegrove Park Elementary school this semester, Rebecca Godbout ’17 of Springfield, Mass., never would have imagined the way her student volunteers’ faces light up when they talk about the program and the children who benefit from it.

“The connections they have created in a few short weeks are absolutely amazing,” Godbout said.

A psychology major with minors in behavior analysis, math, and also in child and family studies, Godbout coordinates the 25 volunteers who have helped her to get the “Colegrove Mentoring Program” up and running this semester.

It’s a three-pronged approach to mentoring: the program includes a literacy lab for first- and third-graders; a classroom assistance program where MCLA students go into various classrooms to help different groups of students in subjects such as English or math; and one-on-one mentoring with those who may need a little extra help, either socially or academically.

“I felt this program would be very important because of the elementary students at Colegrove. When I was younger, I would have loved to have an older college or high school student come hang out with me and my friends at lunch or recess,” Godbout said.

A member of the women’s volleyball team, Godbout is helped by seven of her teammates who have joined the Colegrove Mentoring Program as volunteers. The experience was not a first for Godbout. She also created KEEP (Keeping the Elderly Engaged Program) last year, with another MCLA student.

Whether it’s working for Admissions, serving as the Senate Secretary of MCLA’s Student Government Association (SGA), creating three research posters for the College’s Annual Undergraduate Research Conference last spring, experiences in the classroom and with her professors, or serving as a supplemental instructor and academic tutor for the “Introduction to Statistics” courses, Godbout has enjoyed a tremendous academic career.

“Participating in these experiences has made a great impact on my time here at MCLA,” she said. “Each program and job has helped me grow more and more as a person, and lets me learn something new every day.”

She chose MCLA for a number of reasons: “The fall is absolutely stunning, it’s not too far from home, the price is good, classes are small, and I’ve been able to play volleyball.”

What’s the best part about attending MCLA?

“I would definitely have to say it is all the opportunities I’ve been offered here. I wasn’t really involved in high school, and I’m so glad that I came to a college that pushed me to get outside and do something,” Godbout said. “MCLA gives you a chance to figure out who you are and what you’re interested in.”