Senior and member of the football team Jimmie Walker Jr. received the Excellence in Summer Service Education Award for his work with the Marian University Summer Learning Institute. Walker and 22 other youth workers were gifted a $1,000 scholarship by the Summer Youth Program Fund (SYPF).
Walker and his colleagues spent six weeks teaching math to inner city students enrolled in Indianapolis SYPF summer programs.
“Through their dedicated efforts, the Summer Learning Institute was able to make a significant impact on stopping summer math learning loss,” Dr. Judy Bardonner, director of the Center for Community Learning, said.
Going to two sites each day, Walker worked in small groups with students ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade. Teaching math was his main objective, but Walker also realized how important it was to be a mentor and role model for the students.
“Working with the students reminded me how much of an impact young adults have on kids. Kids look up to a lot of adult figures. It put it all into perspective,” Walker said. “A lot of kids don't have role models like that at home or in their lives period. To be in their lives every week, every day, it was a great experience to be able to do that for the kids.”
A native to the Indianapolis area, Walker enjoyed giving back to the community.
“I think it is so important that young people go back and help out with the youth. These young kids are going to grow up and make big differences in the world,” Walker said.