Compass to Campus exceeds 68,000 mentoring hours!
Compass to Campus, led by Cyndie Shepard, is now in 10 school districts in Whatcom and Skagit counties and has surpassed 68,000 hours of volunteer mentoring time in Washington schools in just three years.
The Compass to Campus program is designed to increase access to higher education by providing an opportunity for fifth grade students from traditionally underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds to be mentored by university students.
The fifth graders go on campus tours to get a glimpse of what life is like for college students. They are paired up with a college student who joins them at their school for a minimum of four hours a week throughout the school year as a mentor and tutor. C2C goals include Western mentors following the students through high school to encourage them to stay in school and consider going to college.
Elsa Wagner ('11) is a special education teacher in Mount Vernon and former Compass to Campus mentor. She's had the unique opportunity to experience the program in both roles.
"A few months into my time at LaVenture Middle School, I learned that the Compass to Campus program was coming to my school! I was ecstatic to think that such an essential program would be available to the students I teach-most of whom may not see higher education as a realistic opportunity," Wagner says. "As a former mentor and a current teacher, I think I am in a very unique position. I have been able to see first-hand the impact that positive mentorship can have on students. Now that I have the ability to bring these positive mentors into my classroom, I plan to do so as much as possible. My dream is that every single student I teach will not only set goals for higher education, but also attain those goals."