The Lions and Cubs Ministry announced the upperclassmen who would mentor assigned freshmen throughout this academic year last October.
Junior Ashley Prax is still running the program, as reported by the Veritas last semester and is hoping to cater the ministry towards the needs of the underclassmen.
“The first semester is exciting, but after going home for break the excitement can wear off, and that’s when students get homesick,” explains Prax about a freshman’s transition from fall to spring semester. “It becomes important for lions to be there for their cubs.”
The lions are encouraged to be active every month with their cub, whether it is attending an event put on by the Student Government Association (SGA) or something as simple as the pair getting coffee together.
“The goal is for there to be an intentional mentorship between lion and cub,” reveals Prax.
To encourage the maintenance of the relationships, Prax sends out monthly emails; one to the lions and one to the cubs. During the first semester, she encouraged lions to reach out. This semester she wants the interaction to be aimed towards having a mutual relationship. The leader of the ministry also plans events each semester to foster the connection between the pairs. This semester will feature a March Madness event, while a second event is still in the planning stages.
There is a dual purpose to this ministry: “For upperclassmen, it gives them a purpose, and for the freshmen, it gives them both a friend and someone to keep them accountable,” says Prax.
The ministry has expanded since Prax was a cub her freshman year. At the time, an upperclassman requested a certain underclassman, but now applicants have to fill out a matching form to ensure the best possible outcome.
Prax says her motivation to keep this going is because of the impact her lion had on her.
“My lion made me feel loved and valued and knew when I needed a pick-me-up, and if everyone could feel that, then someone who is struggling to find their place on this campus can find their strength and value.”