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Monicah Wanjiru / Courtesy

The GOAL Program, a student-run vol­unteer orga­ni­zation, intro­duces High Rise Friends and Hillsdale Youth Men­toring. High Rise Friends is looking for vol­un­teers to spend time with the elderly, while Hillsdale Youth Men­toring is searching out stu­dents who want to help provide sta­bility for strug­gling stu­dents.

Junior Monicah Wanjiru is starting a program at Hillsdale High Rise Apart­ments. Within walking dis­tance from campus, the apart­ments house elderly and hand­i­capped res­i­dents, many of whom cannot drive and are not able to do simple tasks for them­selves, like take out the trash. Many stay inside watching TV all day, with the mailman as their only visitor, she said.

During Inter­Varsity Christian Fellowship’s spring break mission trip last semester in Hillsdale, Wanjiru said she and several other stu­dents were heart­broken by the sit­u­ation they found at the apart­ments.

“Afterward, we sat in the church sanc­tuary in silence for like an hour,” Wanjiru said. “Finding out that some don’t know [about the res­i­dents’ sit­u­ation] — that was quite some­thing.”

Wanjiru said she wants vol­un­teers to bring their board games, musical instru­ments, Bible studies, or a lis­tening ear to the apart­ments.

“If a team is looking for a phil­an­thropic thing to do, move your breakfast, move your hang-out time to the High Rise,” she said. “All we need is com­munity there.”

Hillsdale Youth Men­toring, led by sophomore Emily Walker, is pro­viding oppor­tu­nities for ele­mentary and middle school teachers to pair student vol­un­teers with children from the com­munity who struggle with any­thing from bul­lying to school work to issues at home. The vol­unteer will meet with the student once a week during lunch or recess to play games, do crafts, or just talk.

“People some­times under­es­timate the impor­tance for these kids of having one thing that’s con­sistent in their lives because so much is not con­sistent,” Walker said.

Walker has been looking for ways to reach out to children in the com­munity, ever since she got to Hillsdale. After going through rough times in high school herself, she said she is now pas­sionate about helping children who are strug­gling.

“Some­times it’s nice to have someone close to your age who’s just going to be there to play games, and hang out, and give you a hug,” Walker said.

Alexis Garcia, director of the GOAL Program, said there is great need in the com­munity for both of the pro­grams.

“There is a huge need in the county for the men­toring.” Garcia said. “High Rise is also a very strong need. There are just so many people there who need company and encour­agement.”

To learn more about and get involved in High Rise Friends and Hillsdale Youth Men­toring, email mwanjiru@hillsdale.edu or ewalker1@hillsdale.edu respec­tively.

The GOAL Program, a student-run vol­unteer orga­ni­zation, intro­duces High Rise Friends and Hillsdale Youth Men­toring. High Rise Friends is looking for vol­un­teers to spend time with the elderly, while Hillsdale Youth Men­toring is searching out stu­dents who want to help provide sta­bility for strug­gling stu­dents.

Junior Monicah Wanjiru is starting a program at Hillsdale High Rise Apart­ments. Within walking dis­tance from campus, the apart­ments house elderly and hand­i­capped res­i­dents, many of whom cannot drive and are not able to do simple tasks for them­selves, like take out the trash. Many stay inside watching TV all day, with the mailman as their only visitor, she said.

During Inter­Varsity Christian Fellowship’s spring break mission trip last semester in Hillsdale, Wanjiru said she and several other stu­dents were heart­broken by the sit­u­ation they found at the apart­ments.

“Afterward, we sat in the church sanc­tuary in silence for like an hour,” Wanjiru said. “Finding out that some don’t know [about the res­i­dents’ sit­u­ation] — that was quite some­thing.”

Wanjiru said she wants vol­un­teers to bring their board games, musical instru­ments, Bible studies, or a lis­tening ear to the apart­ments.

“If a team is looking for a phil­an­thropic thing to do, move your breakfast, move your hang-out time to the High Rise,” she said. “All we need is com­munity there.”

Hillsdale Youth Men­toring, led by sophomore Emily Walker, is pro­viding oppor­tu­nities for ele­mentary and middle school teachers to pair student vol­un­teers with children from the com­munity who struggle with any­thing from bul­lying to school work to issues at home. The vol­unteer will meet with the student once a week during lunch or recess to play games, do crafts, or just talk.

“People some­times under­es­timate the impor­tance for these kids of having one thing that’s con­sistent in their lives because so much is not con­sistent,” Walker said.

Walker has been looking for ways to reach out to children in the com­munity, ever since she got to Hillsdale. After going through rough times in high school herself, she said she is now pas­sionate about helping children who are strug­gling.

“Some­times it’s nice to have someone close to your age who’s just going to be there to play games, and hang out, and give you a hug,” Walker said.

Alexis Garcia, director of the GOAL Program, said there is great need in the com­munity for both of the pro­grams.

“There is a huge need in the county for the men­toring.” Garcia said. “High Rise is also a very strong need. There are just so many people there who need company and encour­agement.”

To learn more about and get involved in High Rise Friends and Hillsdale Youth Men­toring, email mwanjiru@hillsdale.edu or ewalker1@hillsdale.edu respec­tively.

  • Mwangi Kaguku

    Good idea. May it be fruitful. All the best Monica Wanjiru for the great ini­tiative