Syracuse University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) community members are invited to join in sharing solidarity, showing support and building advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA+) communities, by signing the annual…
Deadline March 6 for Peer Mentor Applications for Dimensions Mentoring Program
The Dimensions Mentoring Program began in 2002. At the time, many of the student leaders on campus were primarily male. Young women on campus wanted to have their voices heard. Dimensions was created to help facilitate a space where self-identified women of color could transition through college with a support network.
The program pairs first-year or transfer students with an upper-class woman who shares similar interests and assists them in adapting to college life. Dimensions seeks to create a
sisterhood for its members through dialogue and activities that support self-confidence, academic success and cross-cultural engagement.
Tatiana Hernandez-Mitchell, a first-year student in the College of Arts and Sciences, is part of the program. For Hernandez-Mitchell, participating in Dimensions was a conscious decision to help build her on-campus community. “I wanted to be in a space with multiple women of color, which was lacking in my high school graduating class,” she says. “I knew that coming into college would require a heavy support system, and I wanted to have my family as well as an on-campus family to come to in times of need.”
For Hernandez-Mitchell, Dimensions is a safe haven. She finds the activities fun, and they help her bond with people from a similar background. The program is an important part of her college transition because of “the opportunity to meet multiple women of color that are always there for me and who are my true supporters.”
These sentiments are echoed by Saphyir Moody, a senior in the Whitman School. Moody participated in the Dimensions program as a mentee in her first year and enthusiastically remembers her experience.
“I really enjoyed the opportunities that came with the program like the retreat and coming to campus early to help with freshman move-in,” Moody says. “Most of all, I have always recognized the importance of having a mentor, and I wanted to be that for someone else.”
Dimensions was such a valuable and enjoyable experience that Moody returned as a mentor. She appreciates how her role as a mentor gives her the opportunity to help others: “I get to guide my mentees and watch them grow. This is the most rewarding experience.”
One of the missions of the program is to create a sisterhood, and for both Hernandez-Mitchell and Moody, the program has achieved that mission.
“I don’t know what I would have done without this program and the ladies who make Dimensions so special to me,” Hernandez-Mitchell says.
“Dimensions will forever be a part of me,” Moody says. “This support system has made my college experience. This program is most important to me because it is a safe space on campus where I feel so much love and support. We are marginalized in our communities, and it is great to have Dimensions because within this group we offer advice to one another that help us overcome the many adversities on campus and in society.”
Since its inception, the Dimensions Mentoring Program has mentored more than 500 first-year women of color, many of whom themselves become mentors. For students interested in becoming a mentor, this year’s application deadline is Monday, March 6. To apply, contact Marissa L. Willingham at email@example.com. For more information, visit multicultural.syr.edu.