SHERMAN, Texas (KTEN) — Blume Cernero, an Austin College junior and Sory Elementary School alumnus, came up with the idea of RooBuddies to help give back to the Sherman Independent School District.

In high school, Blume joined the Peer Assisted Leader program as a senior. The impact it had on him helped inspire the creation of RooBuddies.

"I started as a little first grader here at Sory, so I have a whole journey here at Sherman ISD," he said. "I stayed local, and I wanted to keep giving back to my community — both Austin College and Sherman ISD."

Every Tuesday, Austin College volunteers are assigned to shadow students selected by the elementary counselor.

From reading, to studying, to chit-chatting about their day, the volunteers take students out of class to provide emotional and educational support.

"A lot of these kids don't have those role models at home," said RooBuddies volunteer Chandler Chambers, another Austin College student. "It's definitely important, because it shows you that everything is going to be okay; it's going to get better, and you're going to make it through."

The program also has a positive impact on the volunteers.

"My kid is very near and dear to me," Chambers said. "To see her come out of her shell and meet new people and interact with adults, and seeing her want to be a role model... it's honestly just a rewarding experience."

Although the spring semester is wrapping up, RooBuddies will return in the fall to give a helping hand to Sory Elementary students.