Kathleen Hammer has been mentoring students at Vancouver’s Peter S. Odgen School since 1992. In her role as mentor, Kathleen provides one-on-one tutoring as well as assisting the teachers with classroom activities. In 1999, Ogden School earned a national reading program award due in part to their very active volunteer/mentoring participation.
As project coordinator and volunteer for the Women In Action after school mentoring program, Hammer has been working closely with at-risk fifth grade girls at the Eleanor Roosevelt Elementary School since 1993. The girls in this program are growing up in one-parent, low-income home environments. Her involvement includes coordinating the program with the school’s faculty and Electronic Data Systems (EDS). In addition to this, she instructs and mentors those adults who opt to participate in the program. The program focuses on various life skills from daily hygiene to conflict management.
Hammer has been instrumental in revitalizing the program to make it more interesting, inviting, and relative to the needs of today’s girls. One practical skill that girls are not receiving at home deals with clothing maintenance and teaches simple sewing skills like sewing on a button. The program has been a huge success and all of the fifth grade teachers, the school counselors, and the principal have remarked about the positive changes that they have seen in the girls who participate in the program. It has become so popular with the students that the enrollment reaches capacity within 24 hours of the first notice of a new session.
Since 1992, Hammer has been the local project coordinator for EDS’s JASON Project and has been since 1992. The mission of the JASON Project is to excite and engage students in science and technology and to motivate and provide professional development for the teachers. Kathleen’s role includes coordination of the program between EDS and the school systems, student instruction for fifth through ninth grades, and hosting more than 200 students each year to live satellite broadcasts.
Hammer also mentors, tutors, coordinates, and participates in every aspect of the programs. However, it is important to note that many EDS staff members at the Vancouver Account also participate in these programs. They do so because Kathleen Hammer can and does create an environment of enthusiasm, excitement, and satisfaction regarding people’s participation in volunteer programs.