Center for Service and Leadership Wins $6 Million Grant

Posted: March 17, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jeremy Lasich

George Mason’s Center for Service and Leadership, in conjunction with Marymount University, Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC), Arlington Public Schools, Greenbrier Learning Center, and the Urban Alternative, is the recipient of a $6 million, five-year grant entitled GEAR-UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs). The grant is federally funded and provides mentors from George Mason to middle and high school students who are seeking more information about college.

Currently, 27 students in NCLC 204, cotaught by Lynn Leavitt, director of the Center for Service and Leadership, and Stephen Zaccaro, associate director of the Center for Behavioral and Cognitive Studies, travel once a week to Kenmore Middle School where they work with sixth-grade students who have limited information about colleges and universities. Beginning next semester, mentors also will be placed in Gunston Middle School.

“Many of these children are ESL students who come from families where their parents did not attend college,” says Leavitt. “This is also an excellent opportunity for our students at George Mason to give back to the community. At the same time, our students are developing mentoring and leadership skills that will help them in their future careers.”

The mentors will work with students for five years as they progress to Wakefield High School. Eventually, college students from George Mason, NVCC, and Marymount will be mentors to 6th through 10th grade students, and the Urban Alternative will be interacting with the parents on a regular basis. For more information, contact Leavitt at x32901.

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