fullCIRCLE Seeks Students to Become Peer Mentors
The fullCIRCLE Mentoring Program in the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) is currently looking for students to become peer mentors for the 2016-17 academic year and assist first-year and transfer students in succeeding at the University. Members of the program’s first group of mentees are now graduating and many have chosen to become peer mentors themselves.
“Since my freshman year, fullCIRCLE has been a family to me. I’ve been lucky enough to be both a mentee and now a mentor during my time at SU and I look forward to continuing that in my last year here,” says Ashani Logan, a fourth-year student in the School of Architecture. “I have been in the program for four years now, since its inauguration, and next year I’m proud to make it five!”
The program serves first-year, transfer and upper-class students with an emphasis on Black/African American, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latin@ American, and Indigenous/Native American students. It fosters community-building on campus and enables mentors to develop deep connections with students and encourage skill development in networking and organizational collaboration.
fullCIRCLE was created to help students during their transition into college, and throughout their time at SU, as they effectively adjust to the academic, social, professional and personal challenges of college life. As peer mentors, upper-class students offer guidance and consistent support to their mentee(s)—serving as a positive role model and promoting academic success, intercultural exchange, personal development, campus leadership and civic engagement.
“My favorite thing about being a part of fullCIRCLE is being able to watch my relationship with my mentee grow. It is having a successful relationship with him that gives me the confidence I need to be successful in anything I put my mind and energy to,” says LaNia Roberts, a sophomore studying painting in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. “While working with my mentee, we have built a level of trust with each other and he has helped me grow in ways he could probably never imagine. I can only hope that I have done the same! That’s what is so special about it all. You never know for sure how much of a difference you have made, but by only giving your best and showing that you care about your mentee and their life, there is no way possible that you go your separate ways without leaving a permanent print on each other’s lives.”
In addition to being mentors to new students, peer mentors receive mentors of their own. Sophomores are typically paired with University faculty or staff on campus to help further establish their own network at SU. Juniors, seniors and fifth-year students are usually paired with alumni or employer mentors in order to assist them in their transition away from college and into their internships, jobs or graduate school programs.
Current faculty and staff mentors come from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the College of Law, the School of Education, Career Services, the Office of Student Activities, the Disability Cultural Center, the Office of Residence Life, the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities and multiple others. Recruitment occurs on an annual basis and more mentors volunteer each year.
“fullCIRCLE has been an incredible learning experience throughout my time at SU. Through fullCIRCLE, I was introduced to people who come from all walks of life, I was able to learn from other people’s experiences and I built relationships with a community of people who were outside of my usual friend group,” says Chelsea Gill, a senior studying information management and technology in the School of Information Studies. “Through fullCIRCLE, I was able to deepen my understanding of the intersections of my identities on and off the Syracuse University campus, as well as understand other people’s identities.”
Those wishing to become peer mentors must be undergraduate students enrolled full-time at SU and have at least sophomore standing during the 2016-17 academic year—current freshman and first-year students are eligible. They should be familiar with campus resources, have an interest in understanding the Office of Multicultural Affairs’ mission and current work, care about the issues that affect students of color and marginalized communities and want to engage with students in intentional ways to be successful members of the campus community.
Mentors will attend training in August and periodic trainings throughout the semester. They must maintain a 2.5 GPA, make weekly contact with mentees and connect them with the people and offices that can support their individual needs.
fullCIRCLE’s mission is to support the holistic development of students of color through intentional relationships with peers, faculty, staff, alumni and employers and it is designed to assist these students with the goal of retention in mind.