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UC Mentoring Program travels to Bardstown, Kentucky


The Mentoring Program of University of the Cumberlands traveled to Bardstown, KY Saturday, October 1st to the Kentucky Dinner Train for a fine dining experience, toured My Old Kentucky Home, toured the Jailer’s Inn, visited downtown shops and had an evening meal at Talbott’s Tavern.

Williamsburg, KY. - The Mentoring Program of University of the Cumberlands and Whitley County School District traveled to Bardstown, Kentucky on Saturday, October 1st to complete the fifth and final program of the SUCCESS series, Students Using the Community & Career Education to Secure Success.

The AT&T Foundation awarded the Mentoring Program at University of the Cumberlands (UC) a $25,000.00 grant to implement the series of college and career workshops during 2011 called SUCCESS making the trip possible.

The Kentucky Dinner Train was the first stop for a two and a half hour excursion through the beautiful Kentucky countryside while having a fine dining experience on one of the three beautifully restored 1940's vintage dining cars, which are pulled by two 1950's F-unit locomotives. The Mentees were able to put their etiquette skills they had learned in part one of the SUCCESS series to great use.

The next stop was a visit to My Old Kentucky Home, the State Park that honors the popular tourist attraction, Federal Hill Mansion, which was the symbol of Stephen Foster's endearing ballad. Next was a tour of the Jailer’s Inn, a place of wonderful, thought provoking contrasts. Each of the six guest rooms are beautifully decorated with antiques and heirlooms, all located in the renovated front jail. The back jail, built in 1874, is basically unchanged; a chilling and sobering look at what conditions were like in the old Nelson County jail that was in full operation as recently as 1987.

The last stop was downtown Bardstown where the Mentoring Program was able to shop and had an evening meal at Talbott’s Tavern, open since the late 1700s. The Old Talbott Tavern on Court Square has provided shelter, food and drink to Kentucky travelers.

Jake Gibson, a mentee stated, “The trip was amazing! I loved learning about some of Kentucky's famous landmarks. It was educational and entertaining and I consider it the trip of the year!”

The Mentoring Program is a partnership between UC and the Whitley County School District that provides enrichment opportunities for students in grades seven through nine. The funding through this grant enables the Mentoring Program to focus on preparing mentees, students involved in the program, for the workforce and/or college through a series of programs and workshops. The SUCCESS component of the Mentoring Program is designed to help prepare participating middle school students for success in school, post-secondary studies, careers and wherever their goals take them.

Co-director of the Mentorship program Lans Lay, director, Whitley County Middle School Youth Services noted, “I was more than honored to spend Saturday with 43 WCMS/UC Mentor/Mentees exploring Bardstown, Kentucky. What an illustrious day! Learning about this great state of ours with both mentor and mentees was stupendous! I hope and trust that it moved each and everyone as it has me. I was honored to be a part of the group as the journey was the reward.”

Since 1994, UC and Whitley County Schools have collaborated on the Mentoring Program, which pairs academically capable, middle and high school students who have other issues that may prevent success with a volunteer college mentor. Each mentor is expected to spend time with his/her mentee at least twice each month, with phone calls and email contact between visits. The pair might see a movie, share a meal, attend an event on campus or just hang out together. Additionally, a large group activity, usually a trip, is arranged at least twice a year.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.