Monday, December 10, 2012

UIS group provides role models for elementary school students

Three weeks ago, Jeff Cosby was too ill to make his weekly visit to Matheny-Withrow Elementary School.

Jeremiah Fields noticed. “He wrote me a note,” Cosby, 25, said. “It said, ‘You’re the best big brother ever.’”

Cosby has since carried the note with him — a reminder that his weekly visits to see Jeremiah don’t go unnoticed.

Cosby is Jeremiah’s mentor. And Candy Land opponent. And wide receiver. And confidant. Cosby and 10 other members of the Black Male Collegiate Society at the University of Illinois Springfield visit Matheny-Withrow each Friday as part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region program.

“They don’t have too many positive male role models,” said Cosby about the students he and his fraternity brothers mentor each week. “We want to show them that it doesn’t take any special ability to get to college — just work hard. And we try to show them that education is more than what they think it is.”

The Black Male Collegiate Society group was featured by the State Journal-Register on December 8, 2012.

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