Kayla Viola

Name: Kayla Viola

Hometown: Webster, NY

University: Cornell University

Interesting fact: “I worked at Disney for 7 months in the Labor Relations department.”

Why did you get involved with College Mentors? “My roommate told me about the club and I was immediately interested. I know of many kids that could benefit from a program like this, so I know how important the mission of this program is. I wanted to get involved and make a difference.

What impact as College Mentors for Kids had on your life? “It has been a very eye-opening experience, and it makes me feel incredibly grateful for how I grew up. Many of these kids just need someone in their lives who will give them attention and believe in them.”

Favorite memory with your Little Buddy: “My Little Buddy does not usually enjoy the activities that are planned out. Not because they aren’t great activities, but because they don’t align with his interests. One week, we did an activity with athletes and immediately, I could tell he was going to have a great few hours with them. He was so sad when the activity was over that he did not want to participate in journal time, so I went and grabbed the running back of the football team and had him do journal time with us. My Little Buddy was beyond excited and it really made me happy to see him like that. I could tell it was something he would never forget.”

What would you tell someone about College Mentors if they had never heard of the program before? “It is a great opportunity to spend time with kids who really need a role model in their lives. All of the kids have great potential to do exciting things in the future, but just need someone to work with them, one-on-one, to get them excited about academics and learning.”