May 30, 2006    #093
Contact: Wandra Brooks Green
(816) 235-1601

Mentors Named in Ivanhoe House Program ; UMKC students participate in unique mentoring program

Interested in developing long-term, non-traditional mentoring relationships with urban middle school youth, receiving low- or no rent housing? Four University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) students were recently selected to do just that.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) selected the students to serve as mentors for the Ivanhoe House program, its inaugural experiential learning program. This initiative is believed to be one-of-a-kind in its approach. Sponsors, along with UMKC, are Swope Community Builders and the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council.

The students will participate in the program for a period of two years, beginning July 1. They are:

Christopher White, junior, political science

Tiffany Coleman, graduate student, biology/chemistry

Stuart Akin, junior, early childhood education

Rashonda Smith, junior, secondary education

The students from UMKC’s College of Arts and Sciences and School of Education will live in renovated apartment housing in the Ivanhoe neighborhood and mentor selected youth while forging mentorship relationships that are deeper than traditional roles. Each UMKC student will tutor approximately four youth.

The purpose of the program is to inspire a positive self-concept, the determination to complete high school, and either go to college or enter a trade.

UMKC students will work with UMKC faculty and curriculum materials especially designed for Ivanhoe House.

The faculty members who developed the curriculum are:

Cheryl Grossman-School of Education (SOE)/Ivanhoe Faculty contact

Jennifer Waddell-SOE, Institute for Urban Education Phil Olson-Arts and Sciences, Sociology

Valerie Tucker – SOE

Cynthia Schmidt – SOE

Mary Kay Farrow – SOE

Susan Adler – SOE

Steve LaNasa – School of Education, Assessment

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban affairs.

Fact Sheet

Stuart Akin, junior, early childhood education Akin is a graduate of Shawnee Mission East, enjoys basketball, guitar, horror films and sudoku, wants to share his hobbies and mentor students in the program. He is excited about his upcoming participation in Ivanhoe “because I like the idea of communities empowering themselves.”

Tiffany Coleman, graduate student, biology/chemistry While considering the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps in order to give back “to the world and our communities,” Coleman learned about Ivanhoe. In that program, she found the opportunity to help students. As a member of the American Chemistry Society, she tries to be the best chemist possible and will use those skills to encourage students towards a career in math and science or at least to appreciate the sciences.

Rashonda Smith, junior, secondary education “It is a great opportunity to show each student there is hope, and they can achieve their goals,” said Smith. She has experiences similar to those of the students and feels Ivanhoe will give her a chance to help them. She is seeking a degree in secondary education, with an emphasis in social studies.

Christopher White, junior, political science Having worked with youth at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City, MOVEUP, the Kansas City School district and now as a basketball coach at Lincoln Prep, White is dedicated to helping youth. The Ivanhoe House program will allow him to continue that vision. His goal is to become a Division 1 coach.


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