UC Riverside Mentoring Program Receives Three-year Grant

AmeriCorps awards University Eastside Community Collaborative $822,399 grant

UECC AmeriCorps members Lillian Wang, Jessica Gonzalez-Lopez, and Diane Escolero with Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – The University Eastside Community Collaborative (UECC), a mentoring and tutoring program based at the University of California, Riverside, has received a federal grant from AmeriCorps to help fund the program. The grant will provide UECC with nearly $275,000 per year for three years.

Each year, the UECC recruits and trains 80 college students, most of them from UCR, who have pledged to become AmeriCorps mentors for a year. These mentors volunteer to help elementary, middle and high school students who are performing below grade level in language arts and math. Through tutoring and mentorship, UECC AmeriCorps mentors help students raise their academic level and instill academic confidence for ongoing school success.

americorps volunteers

Camille Henson, mentor at University Heights Middle School & Stratton Community Center (currently serving 2 years), and Angeline Tran, mentor at Fremont Elementary (served 2 years) volunteering.

“The AmeriCorps grant creates a win-win situation for UCR students and the community that surrounds the campus,” said Christine Morgando, the UECC program manager. “UCR students have a unique chance to participate as AmeriCorps members, a highly recognized and prestigious national organization. This allows them to get off campus and into the community to gain employable skills through hands-on service. The grant infuses our community with positive role models who will increase the academic proficiency in K-12 students and serve as volunteers in community events.”

As one of Riverside’s oldest and largest residential neighborhoods, the Eastside community has a rich history filled with stories from the African-American and Mexican families who settled in the area. “Over the years, poverty and crime started haunting the neighborhood. And, families struggled to make ends meet, often leaving the next generation in need of guidance and educational support,” said Morgando.

In 1994, officials from the city of Riverside, the Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) and UCR came together to help Eastside’s youth and community at large. The result was the creation of UECC. The UECC launched its pilot program in 1995 – and after only one year of service, 149 UCR student-mentors had logged over 5,000 tutoring hours for 729 elementary students and 78 adolescents.

americorp volunteers 3

Daisy Hermosillo, UECC AmeriCorps member at Beatty Elementary, served 2 years.

“College students who complete their year of service with UECC AmeriCorps have developed deep, meaningful relationships with their students and become more of a mentor than a tutor,” explained Morgando. “By the end of the school year, college students see the impact they’ve had on their students, academically and civically. This year, one UCR student said to me, ‘Being a UECC mentor affected my life by making me see the need for help and the need to do more for others.’”

Students who are passionate about helping at-risk youth can apply to become a UECC mentor. For more information on how to become a mentor, please visit the UECC website: http://uecc.ucr.edu/mentor/index.html.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-5893
E-mail: mojgan.sherkat@ucr.edu
Twitter: mojgansherkat

Additional Contacts

Christine Morgando
Tel: (951) 827-2514
E-mail: christine.morgando@ucr.edu

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