Next summer, the second class of UNCG Guarantee students will hit campus. And the need for mentors will double.
Breanna Graves, center, is one of this year's group of UNCG Guarantee scholars. She says of her mentor: It's not just a student-teacher relationship. It's a deeper relationship, like you can talk to them about anything.
This year, 35 people stepped up to serve as mentors for this inaugural group of scholars. It's a five-hour-a-month commitment that requires flexibility as well as a healthy dose of patience. But the rewards are great.
There's the satisfaction of helping guide these students through their time at UNCG. Sometimes that means just trading emails or meeting for coffee and chit-chat. At other times it means noticing there's a potential problem and helping students understand what services are available for help.
We need people who care about how these students grow as people, says Linda Carter, executive director of the Alumni Association. In addition to heading up recruitment efforts, Carter has also served as a mentor this year.
Mentors' efforts are appreciated by the students.
All the mentors, they connect with you on so many different levels, UNCG Guarantee student Breanna Graves says. It's not just a student-teacher relationship. It's a deeper relationship, like you can talk to them about anything.
Next year, UNCG will have 70 mentor spots. Ideally, mentors should be from the Piedmont Triad area so it's easy to meet with their student. Aside from that, all ages, genders and professions are welcome.
We want to have a diversity of mentors that reflects the diversity of our students, Carter says. They just need to be young at heart.
Next year, mentors will have more educational activities upfront and more opportunities to attend university events such as concerts, lectures, sporting events or holiday parties.
But the real benefit comes from one-on-one interaction.
We're teaching these students how to interact in an adult world, Carter says.