Lifestyle | February 4th, 2020

Peer Mentors Making a Pivot in the Program

By: Branielle Edmonds
Peer Mentors Making a Pivot in the Program

The First-Year Experience Peer Mentoring Program has been around for several years, impacting freshmen students and pushing them towards academic success. 

The program has awarded students to be of service to other students through the classroom and beyond. Unfortunately, the program is currently under construction due to major complaints from students, a lack of proper communication, and a change in coordinators.  

Former mentee, Khya Nelson experienced first hand the ups and downs of the program in her Student Life Skills (SLS) course.

“I enjoyed all three of my peer mentors. They helped me with personal issues throughout the class. The actual program, however, I felt was unorganized,” said Nelson. 

The change in direction has brought on newcomer Jessica Hayley, as the program coordinator. Hayley has now taken on the task of identifying new structures and divisions, while also acting as an overall support system to the Peer Mentors. 

Hayley described what it was like to join the program during its redirection period as a learning curve. 

“I had to understand what was going on in the past and take the necessary information to make sure it’s successful in the future. It was a process, I had to ask myself, ‘how do I put these pieces together?’”.

There was no time wasted when it came to revamping the new program. 

Hayley has implemented several forms of organizational structures by breaking Peer Mentors into groups or committees based on the 5 focus areas: Academic & Career Development, Social Adjustment, Financial Literacy, Wellness, and Events.

Data on the mentees are collected to recognize trends to better assist students in the program. Mentors are hired differently to help with the overall experience for the mentees and the staff they interact with. A newly developed support system initiative has also been implemented to provide ways to support mentors with achieving their goals both professionally and academically. 

To the Peer Mentors, being a mentor is much more than its title. Each mentor stresses that their position should be taken seriously as a big brother or big sister to their little brothers and little sisters. 

When asked what keeps him motivated, Ennis McCorvey, a seasoned Peer Mentor said, “Honestly, being able to get to know them and know that I’m making a difference really means something to me”. 

With the Spring 2020 semester beginning, the Peer Mentor Program has plans to make an even bigger impact on the campus of Florida A&M. 

McCorvey says that he is positive that many goals will be achieved as long as mentors stop and look at things to make sure there is some type of order to follow and demands. 

Although the Peer Mentor program is a paying job for the university, it is open to all upperclassmen students with GPAs above 3.0, a completed application process, and a heart for mentoring.