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Watch: Students, Staff Mentor Each Other in College's Popular Learning for Life Program

by Maki Somosot '12

Learning for Life
Students and staff join together for the
annual Take Your L4L Partner to Work

Swarthmore's popular Learning 4 Life (L4L) program pairs students and administrative staff members to promote mutual mentorship and learning. A recent Philadelphia Inquirer feature article mentions the "mutual respect and friendships fostered" by the program that continue "past graduation" and cites partnerships between Adam Bortner '12 and staff member Donzella "Donnie" Franklin (above), as well as Becca Kranz '13 and staff member Shelly Mattison.

L4L also promotes open communication between students and staff. The opportunity to share common interests and exchange knowledge and skills through L4L partnerships has bridged the gap between student and staff participants for the past 11 years. L4L partners design their own shared projects, a product of pooling together their interests and expertise.

First conceived in 1999 as a way of improving adult literacy in a class taught by Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Diane Downer Anderson, Learning 4 Life is now entering its eleventh year with annually increasing student-staff involvement. It is coordinated by both students and staff. "Swarthmore is known for fostering community service endeavors," says student coordinator Renee Flores '13, "and to me, Learning for Life is the epitome of branching out and getting involved with other people."