One of the best ways to gain experience is to learn by example.
A mentor can offer guidance and support to help students reach their goals and advance in their chosen field. Students often overlook the importance of having a mentor, but the knowledge and expertise that a mentor provides can be invaluable.
Mentors can come from a variety of places, including employers, teachers and even other students. These trusted figures can provide constructive feedback to a student by pointing out strengths and exploring ways to improve weaknesses.
In order to find the right person that could provide the most help, students need to know what goals they want to accomplish and any skill sets they want to develop.
In addition to faculty and staff that might be willing to be a mentor, Salt Lake Community College manages two mentoring programs for multicultural students.
Manos Amigas formed at SLCC in 2011, with the purpose of supporting students that needed additional help. While the program focuses on helping Hispanic students, any student is welcome to participate.
“The program allows students to help mentor other students,” says Luz Gamarra, the multicultural student success coordinator for the Manos Amigas program.
The group offers social, emotional and educational support that students need to keep them motivated to succeed in school. The peer mentors ensure that students have what they need to further their academic achievement.
In addition to Manos Amigas, SLCC operates a Brother 2 Brother program, which offers mentor and peer support for African-American students and other minorities.
Gamarra says that her mission is to help fill the needs of her students.
“When I fill the needs of [my students], I know I can fill mine,” she says.
Contact the Office for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs for more information about SLCC multicultural mentorship programs.