Promoting self-confidence, life skills, education, and providing positive female role models: that is what the sisters of West Liberty University’s Chi Omega sorority aim to achieve with their mentor program “Owls Pals.”
The program started about two years ago when the sorority reached out to the counselor at Madison Elementary in hopes of getting more involved in the community.
One Saturday each month, the college students spend time doing some kind of activity with fourth and fifth grade girls at Madison.
“I think that the girls are learning a lot about life at college and getting excited about the idea of that possibly being in their future. I’ve seen shy girls come out of their shells as they get to know the older girls, and I think that they’re really feeling a lot of love and individual attention when they work one on one on a monthly basis with the older girls,” said counselor Jessica Watt.
This Saturday, the “big” and “little” girls celebrated Dr. Seuss with lessons and crafts. Last month, they all attended a cooking class.
The sorority sisters say they genuinely enjoy their time with the girls and getting to know them.
“We like to share our experiences in Chi Omega and that we get from West Liberty University, and so I think that they get that from us. They even teach us things, too. I mean, they tell us all about what they are doing, and it just works both ways,” said Chi Omega Community Service Chair Andrea Garrison.
The girls say having a college mentor is like having a big sister.
“My college friend has taught me never be afraid to go your own style and do what you want to do because it’s always fun to try something new,” said Adrianna.
“I felt very welcome, and you never know, you could have a college friend that is your best friend,” added Marina.
The Chi Omega sisters say they are hoping they can expand the program to include third grade girls and want to get a fraternity involved to mentor the young boys.