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Student honored as mentor

- April 30, 2007

A graduating senior has been honored for her work as a mentor.

Elizabeth Laverty, a human development and family studies major, was recognized for making a “significant contribution to advancing the mentoring concept” by Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters, Connecticut’s largest mentoring organization.

Laverty started volunteering one afternoon a week at the Windham Center Elementary School in October 2004, mentoring a student, Ashley.

The two worked together on academics and a wide range of bonding activities.

“What has happened is that Thursday, our mentoring day, has turned into my favorite day of the week,” Laverty says.

“Ashley and I have developed a really close relationship. She used to be so withdrawn, but now she talks almost non-stop. I’m so glad she feels that confident with me.”

Ashley says Laverty, her “big sister” is always there to help her.

“We play checkers and now I’m really good at it,” she says.

“I even beat Elizabeth once. Plus, Elizabeth taught me to hang upside down on the monkey bars.”.

In 2006, Laverty became UConn’s liaison with Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters.

In that position she handled on-campus recruiting and facilitated the relationship between the non-profit organization and UConn’s Office of Community Outreach.

Her efforts reaped multiple benefits, including a surge of UConn students participating in after-school mentoring programs.

This year, Laverty formally joined the organization as an intern, and created a new mentoring program at a grade school in Willimantic.

“Elizabeth is amazing,” says Laura Green, president and chief executive officer of Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“She’s every bit as good an employee as she is a mentor.”

Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters is an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Its mission is to improve the lives of disadvantaged children and help them become responsible adults by creating one-on-one relationships with caring adult volunteers

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