If you’ve left home to attend college or if you’ve sent your child off for the first time, you know the emotions that accompany that new chapter in life. It’s a wonderful and exciting time but also challenging for students and their families. Parents grieve over sending their precious children away, and worry about their safety and well-
being. Students experience loneliness away from family and friends.
When you adopt a college student you will give them a home away from home and enhance their college experience. You will have an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus and make wonderful new friendships. When you adopt an international student you will also help them experience American culture and introduce your family to a new culture.
If you're a family who is thinking about joining the program but are still unsure, check out some testimonies from other families who have participated in the past!
One thing to note is that this program fills up quickly with students, and there are more students that register than there are families. We pair students according to the number of families we have; so that means if things go like they did last year, unfortunately, several students will not be lucky enough to get a family.
We do have a waiting list for extra those students, and last year a few were able to be paired in the 2nd semester.
How am I paired with a student?
Based on the info you and the students submit, our team will strategically match you up. Remember, the more info you give when registering, the better we can pair you.
What if my student is hard to connect with or becomes busy?
Adopt-a College Student, it is a flexible and convenient ministry, but it doesn't mean it is always an easy ministry. Some students will start out connecting well and then fizzle out because of busyness, work, etc. If that happens, we recommend continuing to pray for them, invite them over periodically, remind them about our large group events, but don't stress out about it. If you have others, just focus on investing in the students who are most ready and responsive.
Am I legally responsible for the student I am paired with?
No, you are not legally obligated to do anything for your student. Everything would be up to your best judgment and out of the kindness of your heart. There are certain things we would discourage such as:
- co-signing with them for an apartment or car
- loaning cash to them or their family
- sponsoring them for the US military
- allowing your highschooler to date them
- lending them your car for a trip
How often should we meet?
We ask that families initiate and try to connect 1 to 2 times per month. Students are typically very busy with school, activities, and work. This may not allow for a lot of free time on their end. Knowing that they have a local loving family to be a part of is a ministry in itself.
What should we do together?
The main goal of this ministry isn't to entertain or pamper students, so just the simple things that you already do with your family are best! Here is a list of ideas though if you get stuck.
What if our student doesn't call or email back?
Students are not always the best at returning calls and email. We have found that the best ways to reach your student are through texting and facebook messenger. Please don't stress out if it doesn't work out or your student doesn't get back to you one month. We recommend just trying again next month.
How long does it last?
The events we plan and the 1 to 2 times a month we encourage families to connect will last throughout the school year and finish the weekend before finals. That doesn't mean you can't continue to connect and be friends after that; in fact, I have talked to families who have done something similar and stayed in contact years after graduation!
How much does it cost?
There is no charge to register as an Adopt-a-Family. Connecting activities need not take up a great deal of finances either. You may feel that you are lacking in resources, but this is not a problem. To them, just hanging out with a family may be the break from the dorm life and the sense of community that they need. There are many low-cost activities that can help you meaningfully connect with your student.
What else does Adopt-a College Student help with?
We work hard to try and make connecting as easy as possible, so besides planning the 2 large group events each semester, we also send a newsletter that gives ideas of special ways to connect with your student that month as well as a reminder for our upcoming events. Last year we were also able to give each of our families free tickets to SMSU football, basketball, and volleyball games! We were also able to give families free passes for their college students to get into high school sporting events.