Clark State Scholars program expands, seeks more mentors

The Clark State Community College Scholars program is seeking additional mentors as they have expanded from Springfield City Schools into Clark and Champaign County schools.
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The Clark State Community College Scholars program is seeking additional mentors as they have expanded from Springfield City Schools into Clark and Champaign County schools.

The Clark State Community College Scholars program is seeking additional mentors as they have expanded from Springfield City Schools into Clark and Champaign County schools, according to a release.

The programs recent expansion includes Tecumseh, Clark-Shawnee, Graham and Urbana school districts.

“This program was created to fulfill a need in the community, which is to encourage students to attend college,” said Karen Hunt, director of the Clark State Scholars program. “The mentors are a huge part of the success of the program.”

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The Clark State Foundation along with the school districts work together to identify eligible middle school students who will become first-generation college student graduates. After high school graduation, the students will be eligible for three years of college at Clark State at no cost.

To qualify for the program, students must be in 8th grade, have maintained a 2.0 GPA through their 7th grade year or the first quarter of their 8th grade year, family meets the income eligibility for the Free and Reduced Lunch program, and neither parent has a bachelor’s degree at the time of application.

A big component of the program is the development of a support system to encourage students to work toward a college education, the release says.

“We need the support of mentors in order for our program to be a success,” said Toni Overholser, director of the Clark State Foundation. “Mentors offer guidance and support to the youth we serve and are a positive influence in our communities.”

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Mentors must spend at least 30 to 45 minutes each month with the scholars. If interested in being a program mentor, contact the Clark State Foundation at 937-328-6009.

There are currently 232 students enrolled in the program, including 139 from Springfield City Schools, 38 from Champaign County schools, 17 from Clark County schools, and 38 enrolled at Clark State.

A new class of 80 scholars will be inducted into the program at 6:30 p.m. on March 3, 2020, at the Clark State Performing Arts Center, 300 S. Fountain Ave.

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