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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Caught in the ACT: Introducing LAMTON

<y Friday evening, high school students from the Twin Cities and students from different colleges around Minnesota, including Carleton students, gather in St. Paul. This weekly night out is run by LAMTON, one of the youth tutoring programs run through the ACT Center. LAMTON provides first generation, Tibetan high school students with an opportunity to connect with college students by offering free weekly tutoring sessions, guidance, support, and encouragement to pursue a higher education.

Tenzin Nordon(‘11), the program director from Lamton, recalls the founding of this program. “In 2008, five of us (students) from Carleton and St.Olaf decided to address an important issue in our (Tibetan) community.  The parents of our students are busy immigrants, who work hard to make a living for their family here and abroad.  As a result, they have less time to spend with their kids, let alone tell them about the ins and outs of applying to college; a surreal place that they had never been. That is why we started this program.”

Despite its two-year history, LAMTON has become a vital resource for Tibetan students in Minnesota. Currently, there are 20 students from 9th to 12th grade registered for this program. Students may bring their homework from school as well as questions regarding college applications.  Initially the program struggled to find a meeting location as well as funding.  Now, however, Tenzin is most concerned about the programs sustainability long term.

When asked why Carleton students would be good mentors for the students in LAMTON, Tenzin answered, “I think that Carleton students are smart, funny, value service, and are great role models for kids… I also think that this opportunity offers Carleton students a chance to learn about different people and different way of living.” She believes that,  “when you are serving a community, you receive more than you give, and that is exactly why I think Carleton students should join this program.”

The night I followed Tenzin and the other students from Carleton, there were 13 students who came to The Tibetan American Foundation of MN, where the LAMTON meeting takes place. After talking to the students and listening to their questions and concerns, I realized how much they appreciated this three hour-long weekly meeting.  Picturing these bright, hardworking students succeeding in college did not seem an unattainable hope. LAMTON was already creating a wave of positive changes in the community.

Carleton students can participate in LAMTON every other week, from 5 to 9pm. To sign up for the program, email Tenzin Nordon ([email protected]) or Julianne Skinner ([email protected]). And keep in mind that there are also other youth mentoring programs you can volunteer for at the ACT center!

– Sung Hyo Kim on behalf of the ACT Center

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