Franklin College and Heartland Community Bank have established a mentoring program. The college says the initiative is pairing underrepresented students with mentors who have strong community ties outside the college. Franklin Office of Diversity and Inclusion Director Teri Roberts is supervising the program. December 20, 2013

News Release

FRANKLIN, Ind. – Franklin College is partnering with Heartland Community Bank (a Horizon company) to establish a new mentoring program to help students forge relationships with caring adults and gain experience for the future.

Building Opportunities through Support and Structure (BOSS) pairs underrepresented students with volunteer adult mentors who live and/or work outside the campus community. The BOSS program was publicized to students in all grade levels at the beginning of the academic year.

Terri Roberts, director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, developed the BOSS program and now serves as its supervisor.

“We’ve crafted this program to help address a need that multicultural and other underrepresented students have articulated: they want adult mentors more involved in their lives,” Roberts said.

Twenty-five students and 23 mentors are currently volunteering to participate in the BOSS program. Participants have agreed to a minimum of twice monthly contact and attendance at two or more ODI-sponsored events. Mentors must submit a monthly report to Roberts, recapping how they spent their time with students and identifying any concerns or opportunities needing to be addressed.

“The BOSS program engages community members because we want students to build positive relationships and develop life skills that can be beneficial well beyond college,” Roberts said. “Also, data shows this type of meaningful involvement helps retain students.”

Roberts said the one-on-one interaction that mentors and students have through the BOSS program can open young people’s eyes to career opportunities, as well as different economic, social and cultural perspectives. Students also learn social etiquette, such as the proper way of contacting an employer.

Founded in 1834, Franklin College is a residential four-year undergraduate liberal arts institution with a scenic, wooded campus located 20 minutes south of downtown Indianapolis. The college prepares men and women for challenging careers and fulfilling lives through the liberal arts, offering its approximately 1,000 students 36 majors, 39 minors and 11 pre-professional programs. In 1842, the college began admitting women, becoming the first coeducational institution in Indiana and the seventh in the nation. Franklin College maintains a voluntary association with the American Baptist Churches USA. For more information, visit Franklin College

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