Students propose a mentoring program

Vandy Manyeh, News Reporter

For the first time at the College of DuPage (COD), students are about to roll out the first self-runned mentoring program. The African American Students Alliance (AASA), one of the college’s cultural and ethnic clubs that promote awareness of the many facets of the African American culture, has developed a program called “Generation X Mentoring.” This program is intended to impact the lives of students here at COD who haven’t benefitted from a mentoring opportunity, or are in need of mentorship. High school students and freshman at COD are the targeted initial beneficiaries.


According to the Mentor, a national mentoring partnership, “1 in 3 young people will grow up without a mentor.” Their statistics also show students who are mentored are likely to keep up with their studies, more likely to volunteer regularly, will become mentors themselves, and stand a high chance of holding leadership positions. Clearly there is a gap in mentoring opportunities, and the few who benefit from mentoring projects reap long-lasting benefits.


“I think this is a great idea from the students’ level,” said David Swope, AASA adviser, and manager for the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. “It will help to spark a broader interest in what the college has to offer, and place students on a success path where they can excel at a quality academic rate, connect them with professors, and show them how to study.”

Its mission is to “motivate, encourage, and empower future generations; so, that they may become positive leaders and role models able to maximize their potential.” The program prioritizes academic achievement and attitudes towards school and education, family and peer relationships, civic and community involvement, and many other pertinent issues college students are faced with.


“We are going to tie the goals of the AASA, which include professionalism and education, with the mentoring program by simply showing mentees how we do things here already,” said Ivan-Dante Perkins, the club’s president. “It is going to incorporate some of those things into their lives. Our club’s members have given us the full support and some are even willing to serve as mentors.”


The club intends to make this program sustainable by being consistent. Consistency from their perspective involves building a relationship with other campus based organizations, and other groups and schools in the COD’s community.


To avoid achieving a modicum of success, the project focuses on the direct results a mentor-mentee relationship will bring about. “Our ultimate goal is the success and happiness of our mentees,” said Karlesia Pickett, one of the program’s founders and former president of the AASA. “If we have one mentee who chooses to make better life decisions, who gets a better grade in a subject they’ve struggled with, or who just feels they have someone who they can turn to for anything, that’s success.”
The program is earmarked to start by the end the semester. It will be preceded by the vetting and training of mentors. Mentors will be trained on how to communicate effectively with their mentees while trying to handle difficult situations that may arise.