About the Program
How the Program Began
The Dowling Mentor Program began in 1985 as one couple's attempt to "do something" for the young people in the Alliance area. This caring man and his wife, project founders Jack and Madge Peters, decided to initiate a program to help area youth. They were inspired by Mr. Bob Dowling, a middle school teacher at a local school, whose commitment to serving students was truly admirable. Dowling had always dreamed of giving students a chance - especially those who had potential for academic success. Dowling inspired the Alliance couple to join with Mount Union to begin the program for the betterment of children's lives.
How the Program Operates
- The program matches a select group of college students, who have expressed an interest in young people, with selected middle and high school students in the Alliance City Schools.
- Such matches are made so that the college students act as mentors to middle and high school students who show promise of a long-term commitment toward academic and personal growth, but lack advantages.
- The mentors and students meet weekly for tutoring and enrichment experiences, often on the Mount Union campus. Once a month the entire group of Dowling mentors and Dowling students enjoy a cultural, recreational or educational group activity together.
- Ultimately, the program will include scholarship assistance for these "scholars" to attend college. In this way Mount Union can help younger students look forward to a lifetime of positive contributions to our society while demonstrating to the larger public the special value of independent higher education.
The Dowling Mentor Program has had 30 high school students graduate to date, with eighteen students going on to higher education. The first college graduate graduated from Mount Union in May of 2000.
The Program received the Outstanding School Volunteer/Partner Award in the Business Partner category in 1999 from Ohio School Volunteer Partners, Inc.