FENCE is an acronym for Families of Episcopalians Nurturing within the College Environment. The goal of FENCE is to keep the AECST’s undergraduate college students involved in the life of the Episcopal Church while attending college away from home. FENCE is administered by a coordinator, with support from the AECST’s assistant rector who is responsible for youth and young adult ministries and programs.
The participation of a family from an Episcopal parish that the FENCE coordinator has identified to be located near the student’s college campus is an integral part of the FENCE ministry. Each student is matched with an active parishioner or family of parishioners, as identified by the parish’s rector or assistant rector. The families serve as surrogate parents for our college students - providing them with a means of getting to and from Sunday services, and any other church-sponsored programs of interest to the student. It is hoped that a relationship between each student and his/her surrogate family can be nurtured to the extent that the student becomes involved in other activities with the family, (e.g., home-cooked meals, college events, down-time spent with the family, etc.) Two-way communication is also very important to the success of FENCE. Students are encouraged to be responsive, in a timely manner, to all communications from their FENCE family, as well as the AECST’s clergy and FENCE coordinator. Year-end feedback from students and their FENCE family is the best means of assessing whether or not the goals and expectations of this component of FENCE have been achieved.
For more information about our mentoring program, please email your questions to the FENCE coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.