During your lunch hour you could read a book, check your Twitter feed or catch up on homework. Or you could change a life.
Project MASCOT is looking for student volunteers to spend a year mentoring children from at-risk schools in Alachua County.
“Many of these underprivileged children do not even have parents that are good role models, let alone older siblings, so it is our job as Good Samaritans to help children in need,” said Allison Rosen, the site coordinator of Project MASCOT.
The program recruits about 80 mentors each August to spend their lunch time with the children, who are usually in fourth or fifth grade.
“I honestly thought that my mentee looked up to me a lot because of the similarities we figured out we had right off the bat,” said Kevin Ward, a past mentor.
Ward, a 21-year-old mechanical engineering senior, bonded with his mentee through the love of hip-hop dancing. During their meetings each week they taught each other dance moves.
Throughout the school year Project MASCOT mentors also raise money to take their mentees to SeaWorld.
Rosen said any UF student taking at least 12 credits can join the organization in the fall. Interested students should contact the Center for Leadership and Service. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.