New partnership allows successful OU students help guide and inspire others

Rochester, Mich. –

When Oakland University senior Jessica Reese
learned about a new partnership that would provide mentoring and
leadership services to Pontiac Central High School students, she was
more than ready to get on board.

“I think I can learn a lot from this and I hope they can learn from me as well,” the marketing major said.

Reese
is vice president of the Revive, Educate, Dream, Change Our World
(REDCOW) student group, which has teamed up with OU’s Department of
Pre-College Programs and the award-winning, nonprofit organization
Winning Futures to work with students in OU’s Gaining Early Awareness
and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP).

Among
REDCOW’s objectives is a strong community service component. Meanwhile,
Winning Futures has garnered attention for its school-based mentoring
programs and leadership workshops for youth in southeastern Michigan.

Reginald
McCloud, director of the Department of Pre-College Programs, said that
when he learned of Winning Future’s work at Pontiac Central, he thought
building a partnership simply made sense.

“Our whole goal is to inspire and prepare the participants in our program to pursue a secondary education,” McCloud explained.

“REDCOW
serves as the ultimate role model for these young adults because
they’re examples of people going to college and finding success
academically, and also examples of people engaging in positive social
and community involvement.”

REDCOW mentors will lead teams of
four to five freshman students and coach them on leadership, positive
attitude, building positive support groups and goal setting.

The
program, which began in late January, has mentors and participants meet
every other week through May. To wrap up the experience, students and
mentors will participate in a community service project at Oakland
University.