Reach Out! 12/98 Progress Report: I. Anecdotal Report G

Cherita's photo is coming!
Cherita Hunter

Electrical Engineering undergraduate

NSBE Elementary Mentoring Program

In 1996, the National Society of Black Engineers' outreach committee chair asked his friend, Alicia, to come and speak about the programs Reach Out! coordinates. They were looking at possible programs to take to elementary-aged children. Their need to find a solid and supportive site coincided with our need to find more people to make a commitment to kids each week. They began a commitment to find volunteer mentors for children at Ypsilanti's Chapelle Elementary School.

This relationship has had its ups and downs, as with all the programs. As Alicia became more involved with campus-wide recruiting and development, Cherita Hunter of NSBE volunteered to be the UM site and program coordinator for NSBE at Chapelle. The principal and teachers, who stay after school to be accessible when their children are mentored, are sold on the program, which has moved beyond helping the children with homework. Last spring, Cherita and Joyce Sutton planned a family outing to Nichols Arboretum and to tour a UM dormitory. Cherita's concept of "mentoring" is evolving, and she is bringing along her volunteers to make a more serious commitment to their children. This is a model to watch! We continue to meet with Derrick Scott of the Minority Engineering Program Office (MEPO, the sponsor of NSBE) to see how we can further support NSBE students with this elementary mentoring model. In the last two years, 46 UM students have mentored over 50 children. Cherita has performed in an exemplary way as a site coordinator, devoting the kind of time and reliability that is rare from volunteers.

Reach Out! coordinators often conceive of one-time activities that they want to do as part of some campus-wide effort. They typically view these activities as opportunities to help more UM students and faculty learn about Reach Out! and fold the experience into one of their sites and groups of children. As an example, Cherita worked with Aarti and Veronica to pull off the UM Project Serve Outreach Day at Chapelle last spring. She hopes this planted a seed for mentors and teachers one day incorporating some hands-on science activities as a part of what they do with children.

Faye's photo is coming!
Faye Booker-Logan

CUOS staff

Faye began working at the CCoG Opportunity Center as a volunteer. (CUOS director Gérard Mourou allows his students, faculty, and staff spend up to 4 hours a week with outreach). Slowly, she became a key stakeholder and a liaison among Reach Out! students, CUOS volunteers, and the church's membership; she now works in the computer lab there that she helped to establish. UM staff members Marisa Bond of the EECS Departmental Computing Organization and Chaim Kram of the Information Technology Division helped to find donated machines and to get them set up and on line. This is a passion of Faye's, as she knows all too well that many of our children are being left out of the information age. We are very excited about the possibilities this lab presents. Faye has begun, with help from CUOS researcher John Nees, to establish a similar lab at her own New Progressive Baptist church. She was recently selected as program coordinator for the Health Occupations Partners in Education (HOPE) program. This role will no doubt further promote the sharing of UM resources and Reach Out! programs with teens in Ypsilanti.

I. Anecdotal Report
  A. Grace Kim
  B. Alicia Pinderhughes
  C. Debbie McCartney
  D. Marie Tripp, Jim Birnby & Amy Raudenbush, Aarti Raheja
  E. Yamina Acebo, Karyl Shand
  F. Roselle Herrera, John Nees, Fritz Weihe, Andy Rundquist, Reulonda Norman
  G. Cherita Hunter, Faye Booker-Logan
  H. Veronica Cottingham, Doris Calvert
  I. Erika Arias, Rachel Keefer, Srinivas Sridhara
II. Traditional Report
  A. Expand established programs
    1. Tutoring
    2. Wizards for Hands-On Science Activities
    3. Career Exploration
  B. Support for Michigan Mandate and Agenda for Women Goals
  C. Lessons Learned
  D. Next Steps
Appendix A: Volunteer Mentors from Fall 1997 through Fall 1998
Appendix B: Science Club Volunteers from Fall 1997 through Fall 1998
Appendix C: Outreach Sites from Fall 1997 through Fall 1998

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