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Edwards oversees the two main volunteer services available through the club. On Tuesday nights, he and a cast of Lafayette volunteers conduct an hour-long tutoring session in Pardee Hall. Volunteers are paired with the same child each week to enhance academic progress while allowing for development of a meaningful friendship. Thursday nights serve as an opportunity for the children to release stress and have fun through physical activity as Edwards and his fellow mentors host sports night. The evening’s activities include games ranging from basketball and football to foosball and Frisbee.

In addition, Edwards commits himself to a new, male-oriented program called “Boys to Men.” He joins an entourage of Lafayette student men that travels to the club every other Friday to speak openly regarding issues of self-esteem, relationships with women, and future goals. The program serves as a mentoring service designed to encourage young men to achieve their goals and lead a successful, structured lifestyle.

A member of the varsity football team, Edwards first became involved with the program last fall as his season neared its end. “I knew I’d have more free time and wanted to use it constructively by helping the community,” he says. Soon he became a liaison between Lafayette’s Outreach Center and the Boys and Girls Club, taking the initiative to organize special field trips and activities for the children of Easton. “Last year we took them to the Homecoming football game, and they had a lot of fun. Right now I’m trying to organize a sleepover or have movie night for them all,” says Edwards. His commitment to the club requires much of his time, but Edwards feels that he reaps the same degree of benefit as the children. “It’s so rewarding to see the smile on their faces. You’d be surprised how far a little free time goes,” he remarks.

According to Dean Young , director of the Boys and Girls Club, Edwards’ contribution has been invaluable. “Bruce is a great leader, and the children are very appreciative of his commitment,” he says. “He’s done a wonderful job of getting the Lafayette community involved with the program.” Edwards has influenced many of his classmates, peers and fellow teammates to lend a helping hand to Young and the children of Easton. “The interest on the part of the students is overwhelming and much appreciated,” adds Young.

Along with Edwards, the cast of Lafayette students dedicated to the program includes Nana Bentsi-Enchill ’02 (Falls Church, Va.), Kenya Allen ’02 (Virginia Beach, Va.), Johanna Turley ’03 (Rumney, N.H.), Darren Lopez ’02 (Highland Mills, N.Y.), and Che Davis ’02 (New York, N.Y.). Although the number of Lafayette volunteers is steadily increasing, Young says that more volunteers are always welcome and are encouraged to contact Edwards if they wish to get involved.

Categorized in: Students