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Ohio State continues its involvement with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program

COLUMBUS, Ohio – After the finals were completed from the fall quarter, many students at Ohio State took off from Columbus and stated their winter break. But not everyone was able to leave, especially those student-athletes who continued to train and compete leading up to the holidays.

While it was an opportunity for them to focus on their sports, the Buckeyes also took advantage on their open schedules by participating with Project Mentor, a program run through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio.

Launched in 2007, Project Mentor is a collaborative partnership between Columbus City Schools and the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. It focuses on getting community members to mentor the CCS students to help them graduate and “empower them for a lifetime of success.”

Buckeye student-athletes from the men’s and women’s track teams, men’s hockey, synchronized swimming, women’s lacrosse and women’s swimming teams visited 20 high schools in the Columbus area from Dec. 10-15.

Members of the women’s swimming team went to Northland High School to speak to the students and their mentors. Among the Buckeyes in attendance were seniors Megan Alexander and Haley Mitchell, who both called the chance to address local youth a “great opportunity.”

“The kids had a lot of questions, which was a pleasant surprise,” Alexander said. “It was great to keep the dialogue going with them. I really loved the interaction.”

Mentoring has been found to make a big impact in young peoples’ lives, affecting them many areas including confidence and overall academic performance. But, as the Buckeyes who went to high schools can attest, there is fulfillment for those being looked up to as well.

“It feels good to be able to offer advice and inspiration to young people,” Mitchell said.

Along with athletics, other departments at The Ohio State University are involved with Project Mentor including the Alumni Association, the Bell Resource Center, the Law School and the Medical Center. For more information on Big Brothers Big Sisters or Project Mentor, please visit www.bbbscolumbus.org or www.projectmentorcolumbus.org.