Dages Wins Grant Money for “Mount Mentors” Program

April 24, 2017

Stephen DagesCANTON, Ohio – Stephen Dages ’18, of Uniontown, Ohio, was awarded $2,140 in grant money toward his program “Mount Mentors” at the United Way Young Leaders Society’s (YLS) Stark SOUP event on Sunday.

The event, which takes place three times each year, awards a micro-grant to a Stark County community project focused on health, education or financial stability. The event is $10 per person and includes, soup, salad, bread and a chance to vote on the winner. The winner goes home with 100 percent of the proceeds and a matching $1,000 grant from the YLS. 

Dages, a religious studies and school social work double major, came up with the idea as a Regula Scholar through the Ralph and Mary Regula Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement. Regula Scholars earn a stipend of money they use to benefit the community in some way.

“I was driving to campus one day and was thinking about what I should use my stipend toward, and in the middle of the thought, I looked up at saw a billboard about Stark County Jobs and Family Services,” Dages said. “I went home and looked on the website and came across the page that has the profiles of all the foster kids waiting to be adopted. I knew right away that those foster kids were the population that I wanted to serve with my stipend, and that’s when my passion for these kids began.” 

Mount Mentors, a collaboration with Pathway Caring for Children, brings a group of foster children to Mount Union’s campus bi-monthly to work with student mentors during the school year.

Dages competed against three other finalists at Stark SOUP, and he hopes that his idea can become a sustainable program on Mount Union’s campus.

“The Regula Center doesn’t have the budget to fund my program from a year to year basis, so I needed to find funding for next year if I wanted Mount Mentors to continue,” Dages said. “Now that I have the funds for next year, I am confident Mount Mentors will become an established program at the University.” 

For more information about Stark SOUP, visit uwstark.org/StarkSOUP. More information on the Regula Center can be found at mountunion.edu/the-regula-center-for-public-service.

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