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Volunteer Week NewsTalk 4/26/06

Oneida County Volunteer Week

By Cindy McNicholl

NewsChannel 2's Kristin Lowman discusses volunteer opportunities in the Young Scholars Program with Flossie Mitchell, Executive Director.

The Young Scholars Program instills the joy of volunteering into students beginning in the 7th grade, following through to their high school graduation. Students only need bring a desire to help, the Young Scholars Program provides the ways and means.

The program began in 1993 as collaboration between the Utica City Schools and Utica College to decrease the high school dropout rate. Since then, seven children have followed the program through its entirety from 7th to 12th grade. 96% of the participants have graduated high school and 77% have entered college.

Adult participation is also a necessary and valued feature. Only a few hours a month are needed. These mentors bring an additional adult perspective to the student's life different from their parents. These adult volunteers are an extra tier is the support that keeps the students on the right track academically and in their personal lives.

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