IMPACT mentor program sees boost in attendance

IMPACT, or the Intercultural Mentoring Program Advancing Community Ties, is a program on campus aimed at promoting the success of and use of resources for underclassmen by connecting them with upperclassman, or mentors. They’re biggest goal is to introduce new students to the plethora of resources they have lurking just under the surface of campus.

“Each week we have a fun activity where we build community and get to know each other,” Phillip Pham, one of the organizations outreach coordinators, explained. “Then the next week we have resources on campus come and talk about what they offer and have the opportunity for students to just ask questions on the spot.”

The program does most of its recruiting in the fall, after tabling at events like IntroDucktion. Once they’ve mass-recruited, they’re able to pair their applicants up into mentee and mentor.

Ariana Donaville, a junior and mentor in the program, describes how this works: “You rank what’s most important to you, and it could be anything from diversity, like I just want somebody who looks like me, or somebody who’s going to help me with my academics.” People can join the organization later in the year, also.

Freshman mentee Yomaira Tarula believes that IMPACT has really positively altered her college experience. “For me it’s been like a supporting group. It’s nice having someone that I know I can go to for anything,” Tarula said. She said that she and her mentor have grown closer as the year has gone on. Though they didn’t know each other well when they were first paired up, their relationship has exceeded what Tarula originally expected it to.

IMPACT also looks to expose students to other cultural experiences waiting on campus. “It’s a good way to learn about all the cultures and whatnot. You get student leaders from all the other clubs, like the Native American Student Union and the Asian Pacific American Student Union,” Pham said, “so all of these student leaders becoming mentors and showing people the way, for the mentees is crucial to people’s transition to becoming leaders.”

They have doubled the number of coordinator positions this year, and attendance for the organization has made a huge leap. They’re currently attracting about 50 students per meeting where they used to attract only 20 to 30.

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Macy Hyland

Macy Hyland