If you take a moment to consider where you are in life and how you got here, your first thought will likely be the mentors who provided guidance at a time when you needed it most. At Elgin Community College, mentoring is key to building stronger students.
Through mentoring, community members and students build a support bridge that enhances each other’s lives. Two established ECC mentoring programs include Purses with Purpose and the Transition Academy. An ECC Foundation affinity group, Purses with Purpose focuses on scholarships and mentoring for women. Transition Academy pairs mentors with high school students to ensure they stay on track for future college or career training.
This fall, ECC launched a third mentoring program, TRIUMPH—Transforming and Impacting Undergraduate Men Pursuing Higher Education—focused on increasing the number of men of color graduating college. TRIUMPH helps students realize their potential and equips them with tools to succeed in their academic, personal, and future professional lives by pairing them with carefully chosen mentors. For community leader Frank London, the decision to become a mentor was based on his own experience.
“As a young professional, I did not have anyone to mentor me. After several years in the workforce, a manager took time to invest in me, which impacted my career,” said London, who believes in the essence of TRIUMPH. “In other communities, certain skills are taught, [but] in the minority community, the same skills and development are not given consideration. Mentors are an important part of the process so that young adults get the necessary coaching for their futures.”
The success of the TRIUMPH program, and ultimately the success of all ECC students, relies on community members stepping up to help. Erik Enders, student life coordinator for targeted populations, is recruiting mentors for this program.
“As a mentor, you can guide and support a student as he navigates both his academic and personal life. Mentors also learn the challenges and barriers students face today. It is a dialogue and relationship that impacts two people’s lives,” said Enders. “By building up a student, you are building a stronger community.”
TRIUMPH’s goal is 100 mentors matched to students by spring 2020. If you have the desire to change a life, please consider becoming a mentor. To learn more or to sign up as a mentor, visit elgin.edu/triumph or contact Erik Enders at firstname.lastname@example.org.