By: Brenda Morehead, Director of Impact, Project Leadership—
Muncie, IN—A Burris Laboratory School senior, a mentor, and the Grant County Comprehensive Counseling Coalition were awarded Project Leadership’s highest honors Thursday evening at the annual Red Rubber Ball Celebration at the Marion Ivy Tech campus. The event, in its 11th year, recognized a year of achievements for participants in Project Leadership’s programming, which assists students in their career and college pathways.
Emma-Mae Newman, a Burris senior, received the 2018 Delaware County Mentee of the Year award. Newman plans to attend Indiana University and study law and public policy. Newman’s mentor, Sue Godfrey, presented the award to her mentee.
“What strikes me about Emma, is the way she grabs hold of every opportunity — taking every door that is cracked open and working tenaciously to get the most from it.” — Sue Godfrey
Hannah Sullivan, who has volunteered as a mentor for four years, received the 2018 Delaware County Mentor of the Year award. Her mentee, Sally Miller, presented her with the award.
“Without Hannah, I would have been on my own getting to college,” Miller said. “I needed help, and Hannah was there every step of the way.”
The Grant County Comprehensive Counseling Coalition was presented with the 2018 Encourager Award. The Coalition is comprised of leadership from every school corporation in Grant County who came together one year ago to develop strategies to better serve the academic, social & emotional, and college & career needs of students in grades K-12. The Coalition’s vision resulted in a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment.
Earlier this year, a Delaware County Comprehensive Counseling Coalition was formed with representatives from eight districts in the county. The Coalition has also applied for funding from Lilly Endowment and will learn in June whether the grant was awarded.
Also presented Tuesday were the 2018 Grant County Mentor of the Year award to Bill Cramer and the 2018 Grant County Mentee of the Year award to Devon Baker, a Mississinewa High School senior.
The Red Rubber Ball is a metaphor for your passion in life — what inspires you to chase your dreams every day — and is based on a series of inspirational books written by Kevin Carroll. The annual Red Rubber Ball celebration in the Conference Center at Ivy Tech brought together mentors, mentees and their families to reflect on mentoring program achievements during the 2017-18 school year. Both high school and college students spoke at the banquet about their educational journeys.
The Project Leadership mentoring program began in Grant County in 2007 and expanded to Delaware County in 2010. The program is for high school and post-secondary students who are 21st Century Scholars. The Scholars program promises four years of free college tuition to low-income students who pledge to graduate from high school, achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5, agree not to use illegal drugs or alcohol or commit a crime and apply to an eligible Indiana college or technical school.
Project Leadership mentoring matches meet weekly, often over lunch at school. Mentors provide guidance for students to help them stay on track as they navigate their way through high school and to post-secondary settings.
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