The holiday season came early for nearly 50 campers from West Virginia University’s Tomorrow is Mine program. Children received care packages from student leadership groups at colleges and community and technical schools across the state.
Tomorrow is Mine is a weeklong summer camp where children ages 10 to 13 from southern West Virginia have a chance to interact with successful adults from communities similar to their own -- demonstrating that no matter where you live, the sky is the limit if you apply yourself.
Campers can share stories and make new friends while still enjoying a traditional camping experience, regardless of income.
“Not only do we strive to instill a sense of hope and opportunity in these campers but also to show them that they live in a state where many people support them in their journey towards success,” Larry Rhodes, M.D., WVU Tech dean of health science programs and camp organizer, said. “These care packages are just one way to remind them that their community is out there and rooting for them.”
Through a West Virginia Forward initiative, student leaders from eight colleges, community and technical schools, and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s WV Climb program spearheaded the on-campus efforts at their respective institutions.
More important than the t-shirts, folders, flashlights, pencils, backpacks and other school-branded gear in their care packages, each camper received information about going to college and how that dream can be a reality.
“People in West Virginia are truly kind and compassionate and when given the opportunity, will do everything in their power to make life better for those in need,” Dr. Rhodes said. “We all recognize the next generation of talented leaders – from teachers to physicians – is right here in our own backyard. The impact of those campers having a personal connection from a current college student is immeasurable.”
While driven primarily by the WVU Health Sciences Center, the camp is a collaborative effort that includes support and sponsorship from the WVU School of Medicine, Charleston Area Medical Center, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, Marshall University, WVU Charleston Division and WVU Tech.
The camp runs entirely on financial and in-kind donations from organizations, businesses and individual donors.
Those who wish to donate in support of Tomorrow is Mine can make checks payable to WVU Foundation - Tomorrow Is Mine Camp. Donations should be sent ATTN: Julie A. Peasak, Office of the VP and Executive Dean, PO Box 9100, 1266 Health Sciences South, Morgantown, WV 26506-9100.
CONTACT: Cassie Thomas, WVU School of Medicine