UVSC students make a difference through mentoring

Latinos Unidos is a new service oriented club on campus that is inviting UVSC students to participate in a mentoring program for Hispanic elementary and high school students.

The club was founded by Professor Kyle Reyes – the Hispanic/Lation outreach counselor at the Multicultural Center – as a way to reach out to the Hispanic community and to mentor youth with the goal of getting more Latinos to attend college.

A recent article in the Daily Herald (Aug. 5, "County seeing more gang activity") points out that the majority of gang-related activity in the Utah County area is connected to the Hispanic population. The majority of the students who attend our alternative high schools (Landmark, East Shore and Independence) in Utah County are Hispanic. It is clear that many of these students need role models.

Reyes has created a plan that is geared toward providing these students with positive role models and is calling for willing UV students to help out.

"One of the most important factors in student achievement is the presence of role models: parents, educators, older siblings, community and religious leaders, informal mentors," Reyes said. "In our local school districts (Nebo, Provo, Alpine, Wasatch, and Summit], our Hispanic students do not have many Hispanic educators to look up to."

Reyes has organized a group of UV students who will serve their community through:

(1) Dynamic classroom/assembly presentations that inspire and motivate students           to attend college and be proud of their heritage.

(2) Service projects in the Latin(o/a) community.

(3) Booth presentations at parent teacher conferences.

(4) Tutoring and mentoring in both Spanish and English.

"We will target schools in five districts [Nebo, Provo, Alpine, Wasatch, and Summit] as well as select schools outside of our target area who have a high population of Latino students," Rayes said.

The overall objectives of the club are to develop mentoring relationships between Hispanic students at UVSC and local high schools. Student mentors will have the opportunity to engage Hispanic parents and students in the college preparation process.

Mentors will have opportunities to tutor, talk about ways to be successful in college, or even just provide academic encouragement to struggling students.

All UVSC students are invited to help, if they speak Spanish or not. All who are interested in helping the Latino community please contact Kyle A. Reyes at (801) 863-6766, visit  WB 146b or e-mail Professor Reyes at ReyesKY@UVSC.edu

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