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Campus Connections, formerly Campus Corps, looking for new youth mentors

Video posted on Colorado State University’s YouTube account.

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Campus Connections, formerly known as Campus Corps, is a therapeutic mentoring program where students serve as mentors to at-risk youth in the community. This is the time of year that the program, and specifically Jen Krafchick, Campus Connections co-director and human development and family studies assistant professor, will be on the lookout to recruit passionate students with an interest in mentoring.

The organization changed its name to better represent its goals. “Where the name Campus Corps could sound like an authoritarian, correctional program, the name Campus Connections portrays the relational emphasis on which the mentoring program focuses,” according to a release.

“We have a competitive application program where students from every major can apply,” Krafchick said. “We are looking for any students with an interest and a passion for working with youth.”

Mentors work with youth who are 11- to 18-years-old. Krafchick said the mentees can be referred through involvement in the juvenile justice system, therapist referrals or straight from the family of the at-risk teen.

Campus Connections student mentors spend four hours week with their mentee in a group setting to provide academic support and career planning, encourage positive social skill development, assist with goal setting and implement wellness programming.

The program is diverse when it comes to its applicants’ majors, although the program is a three-credit HDFS course.

Chantel Bell, a mentor coach and Campus Connections intern, said even though it is her job to mentor the kids, she learns a lot from them as well. Either way, she believes that building strong connections is a very important tool for success.

“Campus Connections is such an amazing program because we are in a society where building connections in the community is important,” said Bell, a senior HDFS student. “A big part of why we work with these at-risk kids is to show them the benefits of college and connect them that way.”

Danny Carsrud, a senior interdisciplinary liberal arts student and lead mentor coach, believes the program spans far beyond the limits of just getting three class credits.

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“Personally, the program sent me on the right path and actually helped me choose my major,” Carsrud said. “Anybody should apply who likes working with kids, making friends and overall just getting involved and making a difference, no matter what their major is.”

For students looking to get involved, there is a one-hour information session that is mandatory for all applicants. The sessions are held several times every week until the end of March. For more information, visit the how to become a mentor tab on the Campus Connections website.

Collegian Reporter Allec Brust can be reached at news@collegian.com or via Twitter @Brustyyy.

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