UNF students mentor; host Putnam County elementary school affected by Irma

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It was the perfect solution to a hurricane-sized problem. Tuesday, the University of North Florida women's soccer team hosted students from Middleton Burney Elementary in Putnam County as part of C.A.M.P. (Collegiate Achievement Mentoring Program) Osprey.

“We really wanted to build an experience for them to get them believing in themselves and believing in their school again -- and really having some fun and getting their minds off of all they've gone through during Irma,” said Dr. Matthew Ohlson, director of C.A.M.P. Osprey.

After the kids got their limbs loose and their jitters out on the field, the second part of their day brought them inside the classroom, where they learned important social skills and the value of mentoring.

Proper handshakes and etiquette were first on the agenda.

“If we need to meet someone new, like, we know how to greet them and everything and we can learn different ways in how to greet them and how not to greet them,” fifth grader Samuel Vargas said.

After a brief Skype session with high school students in Texas, the group heard from men's basketball associate coach Bobby Kennen.

C.A.M.P. Osprey mentors say the experience was just as beneficial to them as it was the students.

“Leadership isn't a chain down. It’s a web where we're all learning and growing together for the betterment of the community,” junior Troy Capers explained.

This is just the start of the mentorship road. The students plan to come back to campus every month through the end of the year.