Mentors guide youth in local schools

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“Pump It Up!” isn’t simply a catchy phrase on the Pacific campus; the name exemplifies the campus mentor program.

Through the Civic Engagement Center, Pump It Up! inspires talent and unlocks youth potential through mentoring the youth in local schools. The program is a source of encouragement for both the younger students and Pacific students and trains and supports the team of mentors to reflect, grow and have fun. The mentors benefit both professionally and personally, while fulfilling their Civic Engagement Cornerstone.

While the program mostly focuses on middle and high school students, Pump It Up! Coordinator Amy Smetana said there is always room for growth.

“There are endless opportunities through this program,” Smetana said. “So if anyone has any interest in joining, we’re always accepting new people.”

However, Smetana added that there are a few requirements. Students interested must apply, attend orientation and training, pass a background check, as well as be matched with a school based on their interest and the needs of both the school and the student.

The Civic Engagement Cornerstone credit may only be used once, so students can either choose it as a project, or register for CIV 110, which is an independent study.

In Fall 2012, Pacific University partnered with Americorps to create a community service effort. Smetana, as an Americorps member, led the Pacific community to achieve a goal: to create a community that works towards serving others. They started a comprehensive mentor program in order to connect with the community and have an effective impact by creating a support system amongst each other, helping the local, low-income students, as well as encouraging them to become first-generation college students.

If any students are interested in joining, Smetana encourages students to send an email to


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