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EKU's Office of Regional Stewardship Partners with Berea Partners for Education for E-Mentor Program with Knox Promise Neighborhood

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Eastern Kentucky University’s Office of Regional Stewardship is partnering with Berea Partners for Education to create an E-Mentoring Program with the Knox Promise Neighborhood that serves as an interactive, online college and career readiness course. Beginning in September of 2019, this E-Mentoring Program will be implemented in Knox Central High School, Lynn Camp Schools and Corbin Middle School. The E-mentors are EKU student interns who will interact with the students on discussion boards to brainstorm ideas, act as a support, and answer questions students may have about their future as they navigate the course curriculum.

This nine week program incorporates significant topics such as, goal setting, financial literacy, and skills needed in the workplace. The curriculum and discussions about these topics are designed to encourage exploration of oneself, as well as the educational and career opportunities in the area. Within this program, students will have the opportunity to watch virtual tours of local colleges, to hear from representatives from those colleges, and to learn from professionals in the region.

“The main goal of this program is to teach students that they can be successful in many ways,” said Mikayla Estepp, the e-mentoring program coordinator. “As long as they are resilient, their goals can be met.”

The e-mentoring program is a win-win for all involved in it. As students and e-mentors communicate, local colleges are being promoted and local businesses are being considered as a future career path to many of these students. As connections are made within the program, these colleges and businesses will increase their outreach to prospective students and employees. E-Mentors have the opportunity to share ideas and educate students in a personal way according to the planned curriculum. The Knox County students involved in the program have the opportunity to connect to someone close to their age, who will make it “cool” to take their future seriously.

“No matter what degree students wish to earn, it is important that they are aware of the many paths they can take to get there,” Estepp said.

The Knox Promise Neighborhood E-mentoring Program brings a blend of both online interaction and face-to-face accountability that will capture the attention and interest of the students. As a result of completing the program, students will have a better understanding of the goals they set for themselves, a clearer path to reaching their goals, an understanding of higher education, and a knowledge of career paths available to them.

In addition to this program, EKU’s Office of Regional Stewardship has several other partnerships with Berea Partners for Education through the GEAR UP and Promise Neighborhood programs. Beginning last year, Aryanna Cannoy was hired as a Promise Neighborhood Event Planner and Public Relations intern, helping organize, schedule and plan group tours at EKU for schools in the Knox Promise Neighborhood service area.

Part of Cannoy’s work includes creating fun, informative activities for potential college students. She connects with the Promise Neighborhood Coordinator at many schools to prepare fun and engaging experiences that expose students to higher education opportunities.

Through the GEAR UP partnership, 11 interns were placed in colleges throughout the region to act as College Success Navigators. The interns worked with Post-Secondary Navigators placed at colleges/universities in the region. In conjunction with the Post-Secondary Navigators, College Success Navigators ensure that incoming PFE freshmen receive information and mentoring on first year student services, as well as make referrals to support offices that promote and ensure post-secondary success.

“Partnerships are the key to success for the LINC program. Our partnerships with Berea Partners for Education’s Gear Up and Promise Neighborhood programs has provided dozens of college students with the opportunity to gain invaluable work experience,” said Maggie Bill, Regional Stewardship Coordinator. “When these students complete their internships, their resumes and portfolios reflect real, hands-on work experience which lands them jobs that are, in most cases, better than entry level.”

Published on October 07, 2019

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