Campus News

Students learn about 5Star

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This week students met to learn more about 5 Star and how they could get involved. 5 Star is an organization that recruits college students who volunteer to run an after-school program at local middle schools. During these after-school meetings, the youth are divided into groups of seven or eight which are led by college mentors or coaches. Each 5 Star coach is responsible for leading their group through game time, group discussions and also a tutoring session for the kids. There are three eight-week sessions during the school year and each school meets for two hours once a week. The session is usually concluded with an all-day retreat where the group is taken through a variety of activities. The 5 Star program has been running for about five years and has been working with Bethel students for about three. The five values that the organization represents are respect, responsibility, integrity, sacrifice and courage. These values are incorporated into the weekly meetings as the coaches lead their groups in discussions and try to encourage them to pick up on these values. While Christianity cannot specifically be taught in the schools, many coaches and volunteers hope that by building relationships with their youth they will be able to have further discussions about their faith. There is also a summer camp run by 5 Star that is Christ-focused which the youth are invited to attend. This is senior Josh Watts’ second year working with 5 Star. He also served as an intern with the program over the summer and is heading up the promotional campaign here at Bethel. When asked to give one word to describe his experience, Watts chose “refreshing” and explained that he is excited to see the program grow. Watts also quoted the program’s executive director who once told the group of coaches, “Programs don’t change lives; people change lives.” Watts said that the statement is a good representation of the 5 Star organization’s mission. Austin Francis, also a senior at Bethel, served as a coach at Brown Intermediate Center last year. “I feel like the kids are hanging on my every word and that everything I say matters and has a purpose,” Francis said to describe his experience while at the school. He went on to describe how one of his youth became motivated by the 5 Star program and was able to drastically improve his grades and his attitude. This, the coaches would say, is what 5 Star is all about. For more information on how to get involved with 5 Star, contact Josh Watts or go to
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