The Latino Resource Center’s (LRC) peer mentoring program has wrapped up its semester. The program assists Latino freshmen students in their transition and adjustment to college life by providing social, cultural and academic support through the help of a mentor. Approximately 30 mentors and mentees were accepted into the peer mentoring program this fall. Mentees were paired up with a mentor based on major, hobbies and interests.
“My favorite thing is seeing the relationships that are built between mentee and mentor because I know that mentors will continue to serve as a resource to them,” said Felix Castillo, student program coordinator.
Throughout the semester, program participants were involved in educational workshops, team-building activities, financial literacy presentations and community service. As a community service site, the group decided to volunteer and host a potluck for the elderly at Barb City Manor Retirement Community in DeKalb. Some of the mentors and mentees brought traditional dishes, played board games and offered Latin dance lessons to the retirees.
The program ended with a celebration and recognition ceremony hosted at the Newman Catholic Student Center. Guest speaker Tanya Cabrera, an NIU alumna, discussed the importance of leadership, mentorship and giving back to the community. Mentors and mentees were also given the opportunity to write down a few words about their mentorship experience and had them read out loud by the hosts. “It is important for both mentors and mentees to recognize the positive impact that they had on each other and to continue to support one another throughout their educational journey,” said Angélica Mendoza, assistant director of the LRC.
The LRC peer mentoring program will be extended for an academic year and will be renamed Mentoring and Engaging Thru Academic Success (METAS). The program will begin recruiting for mentors in the spring. For more information, visit the Latino Resource Center.