e-PAL, Volunteers for Youth, Claremore
After learning about the need for mentors at Claremore’s Volunteers for Youth, William Golden not only volunteered to mentor four students, but he is actively recruiting more mentors on the Rogers State University campus.
“When he learned that the new school year would begin with 20-plus children on the waiting list for mentors, he said, ‘That’s unacceptable! One child without a mentor is too many. What can I do?’” said Celina Davis, PAL Mentoring Project director.
Golden, an RSU sociology and psychology student, began mentoring at the beginning of the school year for e-Pal, a program that connects mentors and mentees through a combination of weekly emails and monthly face-to-face meetings. He has transitioned into the traditional PAL program to meet weekly with one of those students and added another weekly PAL mentee through Volunteers for Youth’s U-Turn program, which serves students on long-term suspension from school.
“William has been an incredible asset to the e-Pal program at a time when it was critical and has further proved invaluable to the agency as a whole in these short six months,” Davis said.
Golden, who plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work, is active as a co-president of the RSU Social Justice League, a student government senator, a member of RSU Intercollegiate Legislators and in Leadership Rogers County. He and his wife have two sons.
About the Program: Founded in 1998, Volunteers for Youth offers programs to positively impact the lives of youth in Rogers County. While its traditional PAL mentors meet their mentees an hour a week, e-Pal mentors correspond with their mentee through weekly email and meet in person once a month. The e-PAL program format includes writing prompts aimed at achieving certain goals, such as dropout prevention.