The Pride And Life Skills mentoring program (PALS) is a cooperative venture between The Ohio State University at Marion, Marion Mentors, and Marion Public Schools. PALS connects college students attending Ohio State Marion with children in the Marion area to provide one-on-one mentoring opportunities for younger students. Marion Mentors matches program volunteers with school-age children and provides them with the necessary resources and support to direct them through the mentoring process. Students earn 1-credit per semester of independent study by attending mentoring sessions regularly, coming to occasional meetings, and critically reflecting on their mentoring activities.
Research has shown that the supportive, healthy relationships formed between mentors and mentees are both immediate and long-term and contribute to a host of benefits for mentors and mentees. Click here for more information about how youth mentoring benefits the youth mentees, the mentors, and the community at large.
"I would recommend this program to anyone. Even when I had a rough beginning to my day, seeing my mentee would flip it instantly." -Gurgeet Bhachu
"As all relationships do, it took some time for this type of relationship to establish. With time, my mentee began sharing more personal issues that she was currently facing. In these moments she saw me as a reliable and trustworthy adult whom she could confide in." -Molly Quinn
"I have greatly enjoyed my time as a mentor and although the semester is over I will be continuing my work with my mentee throughout the summer and am excited to continue the path of lifelong learning."-Hailey Kingery
“The PALS program allows me to gain experience of working with children that can lead to a career when I'm finished with college, which is great; but it also creates memories that last for a lifetime. Our lives are built on memories, and I'm glad that John has become part of my world."―Scott Shirk
"PALS is a great way to help the local community and earn credit toward your degree. The homework you help them with is not hard for a college student, and the games are a lot of fun."―Ben Ditmars
"I love the opportunity to get to work with students in the community that you can relate with. Getting to help them become better and happier students is the greatest reward!"―Jessica Swope
For further information:
- Briefs: Local students become virtual pals” (Marion Star): https://www.marionstar.com/story/news/2020/06/05/b...
- Marion County Children’s Services Podcast, Episode 41 : “Ben McCorkle & Nikole Patson, OSUM PALS” https://fb.watch/eR2tUcfvqW/
- PALS Annual Report: 2022