Scott Nelsen & Minnesota State University, Mankato Student Athlete Advisory Committee
As Director of Marketing and Community Engagement, I organize and coordinate events for the Minnesota State’s athletic teams. In working with the Minnesota State Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), one of our community service projects included a focus on the Mankato Family YMCA School-Based Mentoring Pen Pal Program.
SAAC is made up of student-athletes of all 20 of the Maverick athletic teams with a goal of enhancing the student-athlete experience by promoting opportunities My decision to help pair our student-athletes as mentors with the YMCA School-Based Pen Pal program is two-fold. One, the mentoring program at the YMCA is a strong and established program, and with the pandemic, I knew that it would be difficult for the program to find mentors this year. Secondly, our student-athletes take pride in their community service and giving back to the greater Mankato community – this allows them that opportunity during such a unique year. This is a partnership that I hope only continues to grow and flourish with the years to come.
Here is what Carah Drees; a sophomore on our women’s basketball team had to say about the pen pal program: “Being a pen pal mentor for the YMCA has given me the unique, enjoyable opportunity to connect with a student in the Mankato community. Due to the pandemic, students of every age have lost many of the fun, normal activities they look forward to. Gaining a pen pal, sharing experiences, and writing and receiving letters have brightened my year.”