The Multicultural Affairs Freshman Mentorship program began in the Fall of 2011. The program has experienced remarkable success thus far and is entering its third year. Our mentees are freshmen who come from diverse backgrounds, many of whom will be living away from their homes and families for the first time. Our mentors range from sophomores to seniors who go through a rigorous application process where factors such as GPA, Conduct, Leadership and Interpersonal Skills are taken into consideration. Students are not only encouraged to get involved and engaged on campus, but also in the wider community through off-campus volunteer activities. To date, we have had about 60 students go through the mentorship program, and expect about 30 more to enter the program this fall. Many of our mentorship program participants have gone on to seek leadership positions within organizations on campus, and many credit the program to their development and success as students.
The program ensures that mentors and mentees maintain regular contact and communication with each other. We meet bi-weekly at the Multicultural Center for group discussions, team-building and leadership activities. There are also off-campus volunteer activities and trips throughout the year. In the past, participants have gone to Six Flags, Ocoee Outdoor Adventures, a Tyler Perry show, dinner, and a Chattanooga Lookouts Baseball game.
During the first year of the program, we were proud to present the inaugural drama production during Black History Month, entitled “Our Story”. This year, we presented the sequel “Our Story: Diaspora”. Both of these plays were organized by the program and featured several program participants. Both events were huge successes and participants as well as the audience in attendance were extremely pleased with the performances. We are very proud of the impact that the Mentorship program has had on the participants and the general UTC community.
Samantha (Former Mentee, Upcoming Mentor) - Major: Psychology; Minor: Business. The mentorship program has taught me time management skills and I have formed friendships that made my first year great. I want to show others how great it is to be a part of this organization and that's why I decided to become a mentor in the fall.
Audura (Former Mentee/Mentor) - Major: Anthropology; Minor: Africana Studies. I really enjoyed the ice-breakers and getting to know new people. All the mentors helped, not just your own. You knew that they were there if you ever wanted to talk about whatever issues or questions college students might have. It was very helpful and it felt good to be a part of something bigger than you.
Brooke (Upcoming Mentor) - Major: Psychology. I'm really excited to be a mentor because I want to have an impact on others and show them everything I wish someone would have shown me when I was a freshman.
Courtney (Upcoming Mentor) - Major: English Writing. To me, becoming a mentor is not only a privilege but an extreme honor. With that being said, I don't take it lightly. We have an opportunity to guide our mentees down the right path towards collegiate success and show them that with hard work and assistance, one can achieve anything.
Ursula (Former Mentor) - Major: Physical Therapy. The Mentorship Program has been a successful and rewarding experience for me. It gave me the opportunity to exercise my leadership skills to teach freshmen the importance of staying in college, getting involved, and becoming prominent leaders on and off campus.
Jerome (Former Mentor) - Health & Human Performance. It was a great experience that I would recommend that all upper classmen get involved in. You get to see yourself as a freshman again and you do not want people to make the same mistakes that you've made. It felt good knowing that I could help someone do just that.