Tuesday 2, 2009
            Northern Michigan University’s nationally recognized Student Leader Fellowship Program (SLFP) is seeking community leaders to serve as mentors. Citizens are paired with student participants during the first year of the two-year program.

            “The goal is to assist students in developing leadership skills while at the same time fostering an appreciation for leadership at the community level,” said Rachel Harris, associate director of the Center for Student Enrichment at NMU. “We selected 55 students to participate in the Student Leader Fellowship Program this fall, which means we need to identify that many mentors.”

Prospective mentors typically are involved in the community at various levels. They are often affiliated with service clubs or organizations, government or organizations and projects that contribute to building a community.

“I have met the most wonderful young people through SLFP,” said Nheena Weyer Ittner, a local leader who has served as a mentor. “I’ve not only enjoyed getting to know them, but I've learned so much from them as well. Being a mentor is an experience I have cherished.”

            In addition to the mentoring relationship, other components of the two-year program include two overnight fall retreats that feature activities designed to build fellowship and teamwork, a two-credit leadership theory and practice course, Skill Builders workshops and opportunities to meet with visiting leaders. The culminating experience is when students plan and implement their own year-long community service internships. 

            “We select 55-60 students each year for the Student Leader Fellowship Program, and we have been able to match each of them with a mentor for the past 18 years,” Harris added. “That says some pretty amazing things about our community. All told, 562 different individuals have served as mentors, and many of them have done so on more than one occasion.”

            For more information or to volunteer, contact Harris at 227-1771.

Kristi Evans
News Director