Student rescues community youth program

Rachel MillsLinfield College student Rachel Mills ’12 has been selected as one of 50 semifinalists for the National Students in Service Award. The award, sponsored by Washington Campus Compact and Inspireum, recognizes outstanding college students who are engaged in innovative partnerships and meaningful service projects that address critical community issues.

Mills submitted her application for the Linfield College Mentoring Program, which partners with the McMinnville School District to provide college mentors to at-risk elementary and middle school youth.  Last year Mills served as a mentor, and when she learned that the program would be eliminated following a reorganization of Yamhill County’s Prevention Program, she took the initiative to save what she saw as a meaningful program for mentor and mentee alike.

With the assistance of Linfield’s Office of Community Engagement & Service, Mills is now coordinating 21 Linfield mentors at Sue Buel and Newby  Elementary Schools and Duniway Middle School.

“Rachel Mills has shown tremendous initiative and follow-through to save a vital youth development program in our community from being lost,” said Jessica Wade, director of community engagement and service. “Our mentors provide a positive role model, listening ear and encouragement to first through eighth-grade mentees.”

It will be a win-win-win situation should Mills’ application be selected as one of three national winners. In addition to Mills’ competing to win up to a $5,000 academic service scholarship, Linfield College and the McMinnville School District have the opportunity to be awarded $2,500 each for the purpose of supporting civic engagement initiatives and the mentoring program.

You can support Rachel and the McMinnville School District by voting online now through March 3.