Dr. Ashley Farmer-Hanson, director of civic engagement at Buena Vista University, second from right; and Erika Garcia, left, and Jessica Thuma, next to her, both mentors in the BV Buddies Mentoring Program, recently received a $1,000 grant check for BV Buddies from the Alliant Energy Foundation, represented by Rebecca Gisel, right. Erika, who was a BV Buddies mentee when she was a student at the Storm Lake Middle School, is a junior psychology and Spanish double major from Storm Lake. Jessica is a junior international business, management and Spanish triple major from Woodstock, Ill.
BV Buddies provides an opportunity for Storm Lake Middle School students to receive academic and emotional encouragement from BVU student volunteer mentors. The program raises self-esteem and confidence in school work to guide positive choices that impact young people at an influential time in their lives, says Farmer-Hanson. The BV students provide a positive role model and support. The Foundation supports health and human service programs, education endeavors, civic activities, cultural and arts initiatives and environmental efforts.