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Live & Local: F&M program aims to help students in the City of Lancaster excel in school and beyond

LANCASTER, Pa. -- At Franklin and Marshall college, middle and high school students in the city of Lancaster are learning life-long lessons on the squash court and in the classroom through a program called 'Squash Aces.'

The program started at the college in 2009. It pairs college student mentors with School District of Lancaster students and engages them through both sports and tutoring.

“It’s just one person can make the difference,” said program director, Susan Walker.

F&M Senior, ChengCheng Zhai is one mentor who hopes to make that difference. She's worked with the same student for all 4 years.

“I was able to show her what college is like and how through hard work you will be able to achieve what you want to do and also to have a dream,” explained Zhai.

The mentors work with their students on school work and provide resources about education opportunities after high school.

“It makes me feel amazing," said mentor, Rachel Strompf. "When they come in and they are like 'oh my gosh you should see my grades, they went up!' It feels like my grades are going up.”

Mentors say their work goes beyond the books and they also form an impactful bond with their students. ​