The Columbus Dispatch – October 2, 2018
By Eric Lagatta
The circumstances that bring young adults into the Star House near the University District vary from person to person, but they all share one thing in common: They need help.
After all, whether they have an addiction, come from a broken home or can’t afford a place of their own, there’s a reason they’ve sought out the shelter for homeless youth in the first place.
Beyond giving them a warm bed to sleep, though, getting them to accept the help they need for the longterm can be a challenge. Ohio State University students Dan Lesman and Andrew Hu — who lead a volunteer service called Pass the Class — have made it their mission to extend that helping hand, whether it’s academic tutoring or learning important life skills.
“We convince people that they could use help,” said Lesman, of Dublin. “Most people in this situation do need some degree of help.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean that Lesman, Hu and their team of volunteers are simply going over algebra problems. Rather, they assist the youth ages 14 to 24 in applying for jobs, obtaining driver’s licenses, earning GEDs, and overcoming whatever obstacles are standing between them and long-term successes.
“People at the Star House, they do want to do something better in the future,” said 21-year-old Hu, a North Dakota native.