The Student Development and Resource Center at Lindenwood University-Belleville launched a new program to assist students as they acclimate to life in Belleville, and applications for the program for the 2019-2020 academic year are now open.
“Adopt a Lindenwood Lynx is a program that gives students an opportunity to connect with families in the local community,” said Destinee Penigar, manager of First-Year and Transfer Programs. “This program allows students not only to connect with the local community but also to have a ‘family’ and support system away from home.”
Penigar said that interested families must submit an application to participate in the program, and once accepted into the program, a family will be assigned two incoming Lindenwood students to get to know throughout the academic year.
“We’re looking for families who are interested in participating in a student’s life in a variety of ways,” said Penigar. “They can choose how they interact with the student, but some ideas include having students to their home for meals and holidays, attending sporting events with their students, or participating in other events in the local community. Oftentimes, we will see families provide students with cards and care packages throughout the semester, which are especially needed during times such as midterms and final exams.”
According to Penigar, this is the second year the university is offering the program. The university sees that students who are connected personally to a family or individuals throughout the local community are more successful in their college careers.
“We have so many first-generation students and international students who are far from home,” she said. “So, having a personal connection and being able to turn to someone who is close and familiar with the area is an invaluable asset for young people, who in many cases is on their own for the first time in their lives.”
For the 2019-2020 year, the university is looking to pair first-year students, those with fewer than 24 credit hours and international students with families living in Belleville and the surrounding areas. A welcome barbecue will be held in August for families and students accepted in the program.