105: Shelley Hunter, CEO & Amanda Koushyar, COO | College Mentors For Kids

Shelly Hunter's career has gone from crushing it un for-profit businesses to doing the same in the non-profit sector, and everything in between. She first began supporting College Mentors For (@CollegeMentors) in a former role with a national bank.  Fast forward 11 years, and Shelley is the CEO of one of the most impactful youth-focused organizations in the midwest.

Similarly, Chief Operating Officer Amanda Koushyar also started with College Mentors as a volunteer. With their leadership, College Mentors For Kids has impacted more than 25,000 students on 30+ campuses in 9 states around the U.S.

“When they [Little Buddies] are on campus, they are learning about different careers they can have, what it’s like to be in college; and they get to really experience those firsthand.” – Amanda Koushyar, COO of College Mentors For Kids

What We Discuss with Shelley & Amanda:

  • How Shelley Hunter was drawn away from her job as a grant writer to volunteer at a tiny non-profit from central Indiana. 
  • The statistics that support that mentoring students about creating visions for their future from young ages. 
  • What it means to be a College Mentor and how the organization chooses campuses and other organizations to partner with. 
  • What goes into creating an impactful experience for both Little Buddies and their Mentors, as well as the parents and the effects on the community.
  • The future vision of College Mentors For Kids, how to become a Mentor, and how to start a chapter.

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Interested in partnering with College Mentors For Kids, becoming a Mentor, or starting a chapter at your university? Head over to the websites to find out everything you need to know about getting involved.

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More About This Show

College Mentors For Kids was started over 20 years ago by two college student friends at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

They imagined a community in which young, underserved children would be given the same educational opportunities and experiences as their peers.

Believing college students to be a valuable yet untapped resource for children, the friends set out to design a program that would harness the energy, idealism, and resources that college students and a university campus could offer children.

By providing children with positive opportunities they might make healthier life choices and achieve:

  1. enhanced understanding of new opportunities they wouldn't otherwise have;
  2. futures in which they are financially independent; and
  3. passion for giving back to their communities that lasts into adulthood.

College Mentors applied for non-profit status in 1996 and opened its doors as an official 501(c)3 in 1997. 

Pilot programs at Indiana University and Butler University paired mentors with 33 local children in the fall and spring of 1996. 

The following summer, College Mentors opened state-wide headquarters in Indiana.

In the next few years, the friends, along with other state staff, established four additional chapters, and helped lay the groundwork for two other chapters before their departure in 2000.

Today, College Mentors for Kids serves over 2,500 children across the United States through the volunteer efforts of over 2,800 college students with a national office in Indianapolis, Indiana.

College Mentors For Kids has partnered with SMARI to conduct research and understand just how big an impact the program has made in the the community and the lives of it’s little buddies and mentors over the years.

According to the findings,

  • 81% of kids in College Mentors report working harder in school.
  • 95% of former College Mentor participants successfully avoided the justice system... as are more likely to go on to higher education.
  • 80% of former Little Buddies graduated high school' 85% did so in 4 years.
  • 75% of former Little Buddies followed the path to college or trade school.
  • 84% of College Mentors are likely to participate in additional community service programs after college as a results of being in College Mentors For Kids.

(courtesy of collegementors.org).

​​​THANKS, Shelley Hunter and Amanda Koushyar!

If you enjoyed this session with Shelley Hunter, CEO and Amanda Koushyar, COO of College Mentors For Kids, let them know by clicking on the link below and sending them a quick shout out on Twitter:

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