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Be a T.I.G.E.R! Character Education Program: T.I.G.E.R! Pals

Be a T.I.G.E.R! Character Education Program: T.I.G.E.R! Pals

The third component of the Be a T.I.G.E.R! character education initiative is T.I.G.E.R! Pals. T.I.G.E.R! Pals began in 2011-12 and had a successful first year, mentoring twelve children at the Helping Hands Home. The basic goal of T.I.G.E.R! Pals is to provide children participating in the program with a positive influence and encouragement through letters.

Heather Cummings (rowing) will be recruiting and coordinating Clemson student-athletes to pair up with 40 children this year. Each week the student-athletes will be given a theme to write about that corresponds with one of the character traits. They will write a short note of encouragement along with a discussion about the character trait. The children will receive a letter from their mentor each week.

This year, the program will be partnering with Miracle Hill Children’s Home and our newest partner, Clemson’s Littlejohn Community Center. We will be working with the students in Club Edge, which was started by Adraine Jackson-Garner.

Heather Cummings is from Virginia Beach, VA and is majoring in Preprofessional Health. She was recently interviewed about her participation in the program.

What is your favorite part of the Tiger Pals program?“My favorite part about the program is the effect it has on the children. Knowing you can put a smile on their face for days with a simple hand written letter encouraging them to succeed.”

Why did you decide to get involved/lead the Tiger Pals program?“I really value the purpose behind the Tiger Pals program. It provides a consistent and positive influence for the kids, showing them their future is bright and encouraging them to stay on the right path. I decided to lead because one of my teammates was leading this program last year, she graduated, and I felt the program really meant a lot to the kids and needed to be continued.” 

How many kids and athletes are involved in the program?“The program has expanded from last year.  We have been working to contact and add more locations. As of right now we have about 40 kids we are working with and 60 student-athletes. So we are looking to give everyone a Tiger Pal and are extremely excited about the willingness of the athletes to affect the kids’ lives.”