Having a mentor can make a huge difference in a child's life, whether that person is just someone to spend time with, or whether they help out with homework and school.
The volunteers at Iowa Kids University dedicate hours a week after school helping out and spending time with Ottumwa's elementary students. Tuesday, these volunteers were recognized for their dedication as part of National Mentoring Month.
"Since I used to come here when I was a little boy, I just decided to help like they did to me," said Roberto Espinoza. "So I just volunteer, help to read more, help with their homework, stuff like that."
"I help the little kids to do their homework and read a book with them, so it's cool and I like the little kids," added Pichuet Thippayachat.
Like Espinoza, many of the volunteers participated in Iowa Kids University themselves and encourage others to give back.
"I think they should because it's awesome to help and it's fun," said Erick Olibarez.
Ottumwa Mayor Tom Lazio was present Tuesday to read a proclamation thanking the volunteers for all that they do for Ottumwa's kids. The proclamation will be read to the Ottumwa City Council at Tuesday night's meeting.
To learn more about Iowa Kids University, click here.