Mizzou students share life lessons, skills with Memphis kids over winter break

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - College students from University of Missouri are helping out kids in Memphis.

The kids at Youth Villages have come from tough family situations and now live and rehabilitate at Youth Villages in Arlington.

Mentors from Mizzou spent their winter break to come and help them.

"A lot of our kids have experienced some very difficult times in their lives before they come to us, so having the confidence and the ability to engage with that they're not quite familiar with is a very important skill for them," Youth Villages Dogwood campus director Nicole Fannin said.

The kids even taught the Mizzou students a lesson, showing off their drum skills.

"It was definitely a moment for them to be in a position where they gave us knowledge from something they have perfected through practice here, and so that was a really cool moment where they got to be leaders for us," Missouri senior Madeline Cocos said.

It's not only drumming--the 12 Mizzou volunteers have spent the entire week playing games like kickball, hot potato, and team building activities.

The most important thing for them was gaining confidence and building relationships.

"We just hope that any one of us or all of us together can be the reason that a kid smiles or laughs, at least once," Cocos said.

Cocos is on her fourth Mizzou alternative break and plans to become a teacher when she graduates this year.

"That's why I've been doing service trips so often is because I look at every single time I get a chance to do one as a way to practicing principles I can use in my classroom and beyond," Cocos said.

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