Students Making a Difference: Students mentoring students

Published On: Mar 27 2012 11:35:59 PM CDT   Updated On: Mar 27 2012 11:35:59 PM CDT

LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Do you remember someone you looked up to as a child? Maybe a brother or sister or even an older student?

Were actually honoring four high school students this month who are making a difference by volunteering in our community.

The four: Hannah Olson, Theo Smith, Bailey Huecker and Lexy Arquillo, are students at LaCrossroads High School which is a charter school that helps at-risk teens succeed.

They volunteer by mentoring kindergartners at Hamilton Elementary once a week, doing everything from drawing and art projects to working on reading and math. They also play games with the kids on the playground during recess.

The students say they get so much out of the experience. "I remember back when I was little and I was that age, I'd really look up to my older siblings and how they'd do stuff for me, so I really know how they appreciate it," said Theo Smith.

"I learn from these kids all the time. They just teach me things I didn't really pick up on when I was probably their age so it's kind of cool to see that," said Hannah Olson.

For two of the students, their personal experiences growing up with a mentor helped make it an easy decision to pay it forward. "The feeling you got when older kids came down and talked to you, it was always like 'that is so cool' so I always thought it would be fun to come back to do that for these children," said Lexy Arquillo.

"She was a good role model to me and I figured it'd be good to come here and be a good role model too," said Bailey Huecker.

A few of the students say they would like to continue working with kids maybe as a future career.