Leading the way to a better community relationship

Eager faces and steady chatter filled the room, as each protg met the 16 mentors participating in the 3rd annual Community Leaders and Student Partners program. Moments later, each student was paired with his or her individual community leader.

CLASP targets first-year-generation college students in efforts to support and establish a better student/community relationship.

Founded by Texas State University System Regent, Trisha Pollard, CLASP is in its third year, managed by SAM Center Staff Associate, Candi Harris. With approximately 27 students this year, CLASP is growing in size and gaining recognition within the university.

“It is a great program for these students,” said County Clerk and second year participant James Patton.

He explained how the dynamics between Huntsville and the university have fluctuated through the years.

“Somewhere along the way we got disconnected as a community,” said Patton. He adds that it is important for these students to have some support in the area.

Max Simino Montes, Patton’s protg, discovered CLASP through the Bearkat Learning Community. Public service attracted Montes to the program.

“You get a lot of opportunities to volunteer and my goal is to volunteer more this year,” Montes said.

Montes is looking forward to the first service project this semester held on Saturday.

“Sounds like fun,” he said.

Mentors and their protgs will meet for breakfast at 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 19 at the Sam Center before they disperse into the community to volunteer at four different sites: Pregnancy Care Center, the SAAFE House, Good Sheppard, and Little Woman Home for Animals. They will then break-up into teams of five or six people and volunteer at the various locations.

If you are a freshman or sophomore interested in the CLASP program, contact Candi Harris at candiharris@shsu.edu for further details.

Leave a Reply