This October, seven UF students were selected to receive grants from the Florida Campus Compact College Access Program within AmeriCorps.
The program will award these students educational grants for acting as mentors to at-risk middle and high school students in the Gainesville community.
Amanda Cox, Shantrell Jenkins, Carly-Ann Borden, Drew Chung, Brooke Bauzon and Lauren Wickman will receive $1,132 after they perform 300 hours of service.
Mia Wilchcombe will receive $2,675 after she performs 900 hours of service.
Some students receiving the grant are part of the club Gator Teens Mentors and are required to put in time for leadership training, fundraising and direct service, said Amanda Cox, a recipient of the grant. She said the direct service, going to the schools and mentoring, is the program’s most important area.
“We try to help kids that are struggling, need extra help socially or mentally or just need someone to pay more attention to them,” she said.
Cox performs her direct service at Lincoln Middle School and Eastside High School.
“This is one small way for me to reach out a little more and help the community,” she said.
Wilchcombe, co-director of Gator Teens Mentors and recipient of the $2,675 grant, does her direct service at Howard Bishop Middle School and at Friends of the Micanopy Library.
She said mentoring is something she loves to do.
“Basically I just feel like it’s a civic duty,” she said. “I like to give back and help these students propel themselves into the workforce or into college or whatever route they choose to take, because some don’t have the home life that others are blessed with.”