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​​​The State of Michigan 2010 Governor's Service Award finalist for the Outstanding Mentoring Program Award

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Lunch Buddies (LB) is a school-based mentoring program administered by the CMU Volunteer Center. The program was​ developed to help elementary students form positive attitudes about school, encourage healthy nutrition and physical activity, and provide children with positive role models. CMU students serving as mentors help their Lunch Buddies become more healthy, confidant, and hopeful about the future.


Lunch Buddies Mentors spend lunch and recess with their buddy once per week at Morey Public School Academy, Ganiard Elementary, Pullen Elementary, Saginaw Chippewa Academy, Shepherd Elementary, or Vowles Elementary. Mentors must commit one academic year to the program, and go through an interview and criminal background check. Anyone with a desire to help children is encouraged to apply.​


Research shows that mentoring has a meaningful, long-lasting, and positive impact​ on children. No special skills are needed...just the willingness to care and spend time with a child who needs you.​

Testimonials  ​

“Friday is definitely my favorite. I have a lot of fun playing with my buddy; I just wish he was here every day!”

Alonzo Johnson, 4th Grader at Vowles Elementary School

“Being a Lunch Buddies mentor is one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. Not only do I feel great about making a difference in a child’s life, I know my buddy has made a difference in my life as well.”

Lindsay Sheridan, 1st year Mentor at Renaissance Public School Academy

“I think I speak for everyone involved when I say it’s the highlight of our weeks. For the mentors, it’s a chance to make a difference in someone’s life and polish up on our “four square” and “tag” skills while we’re at it. For the students, they get to spend time with a strong positive role model in their lives; which is all too uncommon in some of these children’s lives.”

Justin Mack, Former Lunch Buddies Student Coordinator

“It is heartening to see the excitement on the children’s faces when they spot their CMU Lunch Buddy in the lunchroom. It is proof-positive that the link between the children and college-age students can be productive, enjoyable and rewarding.”

Shawna Ross, Director, Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center