Do you remember that tutor, that coach, that 10th grade history teacher, who inspired and motivated you, who completely changed your life? What if we told you that you had the opportunity to be that person?
The Office of Multicultural Affairs is looking for faculty and staff members to sign up for their Mentoring Program, which is dedicated to helping African American, Latino/a, and Native American students better connect to the University, its resources, and its people. The program, which has been in existence for two years, currently has more than 45 students signed up as mentees, but unfortunately less than half the mentors available to help them. And that is where Pace faculty and staff can help out.
Assistant Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) Melanie Robles, who manages the Mentoring Program, emphasizes that you don’t have to be African American, Latino/a, or Native American to be a mentor. “Mentors can be anyone genuinely invested in our students’ success,” Robles says.
So what does mentoring entail? Mentors meet with their mentees monthly and e-mail at least twice per month—that’s less time than most of us spend on Facebook each month. During that time, mentors can help students by providing professional development through networking and internships, exploring future employment or education opportunities, motivating them to get involved, or simply being a listening ear. “Students may talk about school, roommates, family, basically everything under the sun,” Robles says.
In-house workshops for mentors and mentees are planned for the coming months, including a reception on November 8, and a workshop on helping mentees develop better professional relationships with their professors. Additionally, at the end of this month, mentees will go on a field trip to the Foundation Center, where they will learn all about obtaining scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid, to fund their undergraduate education at Pace and continue on to graduate and law schools.
This program can help show our students that there is someone who cares about them; it can help foster a feeling of belonging in students and help them get the most out of their Pace experience; and last but not least, it can help faculty and staff become more connected with our students and have a real impact on their future.