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Program trains student athletes to mentor youth

Corydon Central High School played host to the ‘Stay In Bounds’ mentor program’s training session Monday for high school students from six area schools including Corydon Central.
The program, based out of Indianapolis and administrated by the NCAA Hall of Champions, is designed for high school students to become positive role models for elementary-age children.
Lee Lonzo teaches the free program along with other former coaches, teachers and administrators. The Stay In Bounds ambassadors program develops sophomore, junior and senior student-athletes into mentors for younger students. Once the high school students complete the training course, they will take what they have learned and apply it to their visits to elementary schools.
At the elementary schools, students will put together a lesson plan and activity designed to help them interact with the youth in the community.
Corydon Central chose 16 students to participate. To become a student ambassador, students must play a high school sport, have good academic standing, be recommended by a coach or advisor and care about making a difference with kids in the community.
‘The students will be in the community as role models not only in the schools but when they are seen out at different places,’ Stay In Bounds coordinator Becky McNichols said. ‘To be invited to represent a high school team and community to younger students should be a privilege. It will leave the high school kids with a sense of responsibility to the community and schools.’
The program began in 2003 in Indianapolis as a pilot program. The program now works with the IHSAA, NCAA, National Federation of High Schools with the financial support from the Lilly Endowment and the NCAA Hall of Champions to function when it went statewide in 2005.
Corydon Central athletic director Michael Uhl said his school had an interest in becoming a part of the program last year, but there wasn’t a training location within a reasonable driving distance.
‘We saw it as a program for our kids to help them become leaders and show our younger kids how to represent themselves in the community,’ Uhl said. ‘Any way to make this community better 20 years down the road, I see it as a positive thing.’
Six schools ‘ CCHS, Salem, Bedford North Lawrence, Henryville, Borden and Scottsburg ‘ attended the training site which was held in Corydon Central’s auxiliary gymnasium.
The director of the Stay In Bounds program is Mark Herrmann, a former All-American football star at Purdue University who also played in the NFL.
Caitlyn Byrd is heavily involved at Corydon Central, participating in swimming, track, cross country and cheerleading, said she was honored to be chosen for the program.
‘It seems pretty cool,’ she said. ‘I look forward to getting involved with the younger kids.’