Project Uplift, ever heard of it? You may have seen posters around campus or maybe you even know someone who is a part of the program but many of you, like myself, might not have ever heard of this long-standing Auburn Program before.
Chris Nunn, The Project Uplift Coordinator, who described the program. “Project Uplift is a program of the Lee County Youth Development Center. The purpose is to uplift the lives and self-esteem of the children that have been referred to our program.”
“with the hopes that those children being so impacted by the relationships that have been established by our program.” Said Nunn, “That those children will make better decisions that would help them to live successful lives and be positive contributors to our society.”
Project Uplift has been a part of the Auburn community for a very long time.
“We’ve been in existence since July 1, 1973. So we just celebrated our 45th anniversary,” said Nunn.
“It all developed around the time that the Lee County Council for neglected and dependent children were trying to develop programs where children could be supported when they found themselves getting into trouble or even when their families were not able to provide good homelife or good environments for them to grow up in.”
It was back in 1968 that the groundwork began being put in place for the program. And now there are five full-time staff, seven part-time staff, 137 volunteers and 281 children with 75 matches.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
Once matched with a volunteer the mentor and the child develop a special relationship. “The sky is the limit, in terms of what they do with their kinds. As long as its legal and moral and ethical.” Nunn said.
“Simple Things like baking cookies, walking and playing in the park, bringing them to the campus, going fishing, playing foursquare just general stuff that you’ve done as a kid or stuff a person has done that they remember very fondly doing as a kid,” Nunn said as he described different ways the children and mentor interact.
At this point, Nunn starts to point out all the pictures on the doors and walls of the office. Pictures of mentors and their kids doing different activities, even weddings together. “There are mentors that maintain those relationships even after graduating and including their kids in very special occasions like a wedding or their kid's high school graduation,” Nunn said.
Nunn described how there were some relationships that have been maintained for an upwards of five or even ten years, with mentors coming back over the summers to visit their kids or families traveling on vacation together.
“When I see this it makes me so excited when I'm opening my door, to be a part of a program that is an impact not only on the children but also those mentors.” Said Nunn. “We’ve been part of the Auburn Family for 45 years and we look forward to having 45 or 50 more.”
If interested in volunteering yourself or learning more go to auburn.edu/projectuplift or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman