Youth Mentoring Volunteer Profiled on UVA Today

Meet Ellie Leech, a Madison House volunteer and member of the UVa Class of 2016, through this great profile from UVA Today!

Q. "What’s your work with Madison House's community partner, Abundant Life, been like?"

A. "For the past three years, I’ve been a Bible club leader for middle school girls and I’ve stayed with the same group of students throughout. Now I direct their high school program. We meet once a week and have a Bible study, and we’re starting to do tutoring and mentoring. We also really try to help students experience life outside their neighborhoods, so we do field trips, college trips and service projects.

It’s been a totally chaotic enterprise and it’s so fun. Growing up in Charlottesville – my parents live on a farm outside of town – I didn’t really experience the diversity of the city. There’s a large refugee population and there’s a blending of cultures. A bunch of my students are from Africa and I get to learn a lot about how they think about the world in a way that’s totally different from me. I’ve learned a lot about how to be patient and to recognize that I’m there to be an advocate for them and to serve them, but not to direct their lives in the way that I think is best for them. I’m just there to be their friend and help out wherever I can."

Read the full profile HERE!