Step Up and CASA search for new volunteers


YOU CAN MAKE A BIG IMPACT IN SMALL WAYS — Hope College’s Step Up mentor program is searching for more volunteers to educate, engage and inspire young Holland kids. (Hope College)

The Step Up program at Hope College is beginning again this spring semester in the coming weeks. The program matches school students to our campus by pairing the kids with volunteer mentors. The mentors provide them with the consistent support they need to succeed in school and reach their personal potentials.

The time spent with the kids is very rewarding and there is so much fun to have with them. Mentors share that they start with homework, but make up games to make learning more fun and keep the kids engaged. Step Up provides more than a figure for students to look up to. It also gives resources that these kids may not have at home. The experience is more than just work. It gives kids a chance to look up to someone and gives mentors a chance to do more in their community. It makes a bigger difference than some people think.

Step Up student Jaime shared how this program helped him in more ways than just guidance, “It helps me get my online homework done since I don’t have internet at home.”

Step Up is in need of more volunteers! The more mentors they can get means more students and families can be helped. Another students, Erick shared the long term change it made, “It helped me study for class and my assignments. This program helped me succeed in middle and go onto high school and college.” There are numerous families in the Holland area eager for their children to participate in Step Up, but they aren’t able to help unless the program gets more volunteers.

The volunteer hours are Monday and Wednesdays 3:30 to 5 p.m. or 5:30 to 7 p.m. Any questions can be emailed at or you can visit the program’s office in Graves Hall B007.

A sure way path to success in life starts with success in school. Even as early as elementary school, kids are struggling Children’s After School Achievement (CASA) is another tool, just like Step Up, to work with kids and make a change that can last for years. CASA aims at working with and helping at-risk kids before they slip through the cracks with after school tutoring. CASA offers one-on-one tutoring four days a week during the school year. Each student attends a session twice a week on either Mon./Wed. or Tues./Thurs. The kids are given homework time, reading and enrichment time.

Maria joined CASA at nine years old and states CASA’s involvement in her education, “I have a really nice tutor who helps me because my mom doesn’t understand English very well. I feel good because it makes me feel like home, just a little bit different.” It just takes a little compassion and some initiative to give these kids a boost that can last their whole lives. Any questions for CASA can be emailed at

Just a little bit of time each week can make a large impact on a little guy’s life. Step Up and CASA encourage students to join and make a difference.

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