(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Jason Lockett, HGR inside sales rep)
Q: Notre Dame of Ohio, correct? Your alma mater?
A: Yes, NDC is my alma, and I graduated in 2010 with a B.S. in marketing.
Q: How and why did the mentoring program get started?
A: Bill Leamon started this program three years ago. He’s a professor, as well. Bill is extremely passionate about helping others and is committed to grow this program outside of NDC and in other colleges/universities.
Q: Why did you get involved?
A: The pilot program was introduced at NDC last year, and it was a huge success. Our mentees were paired with professionals with similar backgrounds, personality traits and interests. Last year, there were 23 mentees with 20 mentors. Our mentors interacted with their mentees at least once per week to assist with various challenges, including but not limited to deciding majors, picking classes, managing time, part-time job assistance, managing money and the overall transition from high school to college.
Q: What does the group do? How does each mentor help its mentee or work with him/her, how often, in what ways?
A: The main goal is to help each student with the transition from high school to college in order to reduce the dropout rate during each student’s freshman year.
Q: How does the mentee get a mentor or become part of the program?
A: We receive recommendations from Admissions and academic advisors.
Q: Any interesting/inspiring stories from last year’s experience?
A: Overall, it was a great experience for everyone, and we plan on expanding schools in the near future. Also, we are trying to get donors for scholarships for our students.
Q: In your opinion, what is the importance of education or training?
A: The program started three years ago, and I joined last year. Studies show that first-generation college students that come from low-income families have the highest possibility of dropping out of college within their first year. The largest success of this group is the scholarship due to the structure provided by the athletic program. This program was created with a few goals in mind:
- To provide mentorship to incoming college students
- To provide leadership opportunities to upperclassman that are committed to help
- To reduce the dropout rate of college students in their first year
- To break and create cycles within families where the older siblings are acquiring college degrees
- To create leaders within families to be not only an example, but the pioneer to promote higher education