Bethany students serve as mentors at Triadelphia Middle School | News, Sports, Jobs
Some Triadelphia Middle School students learn first-hand from today’s students what it takes to succeed academically, and that they too can aspire to go to college one day.
Members of Bethany College’s Black Student Union chose the program as a community outreach program, said Charline B. Rowland, director of the teacher preparation program at Bethany College.
BSU mentors are of all races, ethnicities and genders, and most are student-athletes, she said. Rowland is the club’s educational advisor.
Twice a month, on Thursdays, at least three to four student mentors volunteer their time to travel from Bethany to Triadelphia Middle School to meet with students at lunchtime. The students are in sixth, seventh and eighth grade.
Bethany instructors accompany the students and are always present in the room with the middle schoolers, Rowland said. Sometimes Rowland herself comes by, as well as Triadelphia Middle School principal Ann Coleman and Triadelphia Middle School counselor Katherine Seidler.
Sessions have included discussions about being a first-generation student and college life, Black History Month games, giving back to your community, organizing to learn, and “the music that inspires you”.
Rowland said in October that Eden Rice of Wheeling’s Youth Services System contacted Bethany College to do outreach with students at Triadelphia Middle School.
BSU students volunteered to organize outreach as part of their student service project. Educators from Bethany then met with those from Triadelphia Middle School to determine the mission of the mentoring sessions, Rowland said.
Mission has been defined as having students mentor college students on college life and “community service with academic preparation.”
It’s become more of a pre-college opportunity for the college to interact and mentor young people, and focus on the goals college can provide for them, Rowland said.
“It’s about setting goals and prioritizing steps to achieve those goals,” Coleman said. She added that many students are the first generation in your family to consider a college education.
“We are always looking for ways to inspire our students to plan for their future and know that every goal is possible if they work towards it.” she says.
Bethany College hosted a college tour and lunch for older students last fall as part of Wheeling Park High School’s Beyond Education program, and the idea is that college students may be able to come visit before the end of the school year.
“I’m glad we’re able to model and give students the opportunity to focus on college,” Rowland said. “We hope that the children of Triadelphia can come and visit the campus this spring, and this will be our finale.
“We did some of that with Wheeling Park, students interested in education. It’s good to have this type of model. It gives kids options for post-secondary education and shows them what they need to do in middle school and high school (to be successful in college),” she said.