April 5, 2018
Writer: Noelle Helm
BYU-Idaho provides a myriad of opportunities for students to both teach one another and learn from one another. Through peer mentorship programs, students have the chance to receive valuable support from their peers throughout their time at BYU-Idaho. Outlined below are three incredible ways a mentor can guide students through their BYU-Idaho experience.
A Mentor is a Friend
A student mentor is a built-in friend, a peer at the university that is there to help. As a friend, they are also a source of social support. Mentees have the chance to be introduced to new social groups, friends, and opportunities to get involved in campus activities.
Student Support Coordinator Kimball Benson said, “There’s a big social component to student mentorship programs. One of our goals for mentors is to help get students involved on campus, whether that’s participating in activities or even volunteering for one of the campus service opportunities.”
Mentors provide a unique perspective as a peer, and can often be the best resource for students seeking guidance.
“A key to having a student mentor is the fact that they are a peer. They’re someone a student can relate to. Most students won’t naturally go to a full-time employee to ask about dating or roommate advice, but a mentor is someone they can talk about these things with. They’re in the same situations, dealing with the same things. They understand what it’s like,” Benson said.
A Mentor is a Guide to Campus Resources
Mentors serve as guides to campus resources, which is an incredibly valuable tool for new and experienced students alike. With at least fifteen campus resources catered to different needs, there are multiple avenues of help for students on campus.
Mentors can readily identify the right resources to ensure mentees have the greatest chance of succeeding. As students work with their mentors, they can quickly gain access to those resources that would benefit them most.
“Mentors can connect students to the best possible resource,” Benson said. “Sometimes that resource is the mentor, but often it’s a campus resource like the Tutoring Center, the Counseling Center, or the Health Center.”
A Mentor Provides Ongoing Support
Though mentors can direct students to resources available on campus, they can also serve as resources themselves. Mentors are able to work with students on a one-on-one basis, where they can help mentees set goals for success in college and beyond.
Peer mentor programs begin before students even arrive
Student Support Coordinator Nathan Watson said, “Mentors are there to build the confidence of the mentee. For a student, having someone that says ‘I believe in you, you can do it,’ is sometimes all it takes to get that student going. Building that friendship, building that confidence in somebody is so important.”