UNCG Guarantee is more than a financial aid package. For the students who are a part of this remarkable program, the Guarantee is a path to a brighter future. Founded in 2009, UNCG Guarantee provides academic and financial support to academically gifted, financially disadvantaged in-state students to help them graduate from UNCG in four years with little or no debt.
UNCG Guarantee Scholars and mentors mingle at a 2012 reception.
However, the Guarantee was designed based on the idea that financial aid alone will not ensure student success, especially since many of the participants in the program are first-generation college students for whom academic, personal and professional guidance are especially crucial. One major component of the program, therefore, is the pairing of students with mentors who will help guide them through the highs and lows of college life.
You could be one of these important academic partners. UNCG Guarantee is currently looking for 30-35 mentors to engage with scholars in the coming 2013-14 academic year. Sometimes the mentors spend time guiding students through career building and job shadowing exercises. Other times, they simply share a cup of coffee or some Yum Yum's ice cream and talk about life. Each mentor is given skills for success through an informative orientation and regular communications from the Office of Undergraduate Student Excellence, and has ample opportunities to provide feedback on their experience and recommendations for program enhancement and improvements. They'll also be able to attend a wide array of UNCG concert and lecture offerings, Spartan athletics events and off-campus cultural and recreational events.
Mentoring is a passion I have developed over the years, said Linda Dunston-Stacey '85, business manager and assistant to executive director of the Alumni Association, and a Guarantee mentor. I believe in sowing my time and care into young people who are seeking to improve their quality of life and their communities.
The program isn't only valuable to the student participants, though. Mentors say they receive a great deal from the program as they watch a talented student achieve his or her potential through their guidance. Whether it is the Girl Scouts of America, Youth Ministries or the UNCG Guarantee Scholars Program, it is a way for me to give back, to help them develop skill sets necessary for success as students and ultimately to be a success in their professional lives after graduation, says Dunston-Stacey.
If you're a Triad resident, and you're interested in becoming a mentor, email Kristen Christman at firstname.lastname@example.org or Donna Duffy at email@example.com. You can also learn more about the program by visiting the UNCG Guarantee web site. All volunteers must complete a mentor volunteer form and profile and consent to a background check.