Mentoring program provides resources for new students

Victoria Teresko

Having someone show all the resources available to students is often the key to success at The University of Akron, and the peer mentoring program is a vital part of implementing this success on campus.

This program pairs underclassmen with upperclassmen who have a GPA of at least 2.75. Over the course of the school year, the peer mentor and mentee form a relationship which focuses on student success in academics and campus involvement.

Kyla Collins, a junior in the fashion merchandising program with a double minor in sales and marketing and professional photography, is the leader of the program. Collins has been an active part of the Office of Multicultural Development’s peer mentoring services for the past three years.

As a freshman, she was a mentee. Her mentor taught her the importance of campus involvement and academic excellence.

“I did not do well in high school,” Collins said. “I knew having someone to serve as a guide during my freshman year would be beneficial, but I had no idea where to look. Luckily, the Office of Multicultural Development was and still is accessible and accommodating.”

Collins was so impressed with the program at the conclusion of her freshman year that she became a peer mentor. She is also a Resident Assistant in UA’s residence halls. Getting involved on campus has been a saving grace
for Collins.

“Personally, I have faced financial difficulties. I developed the philosophy
of looking at all of your resources,” said Collins.

Collins said that Honors College and becoming a Resident Assistant gave her the financial support she needed to continue her education when her savings were exhausted after her freshman year.

Today, Collins is the leader of the peer mentoring program. Now, though, she is a mentor to other mentors, rather than mentees. One of Collins’ most notable achievements is assisting other students through their own financial difficulties.

“Kyla is one of the most caring people I know,” Kathryn Lynn, Collins’ mentee from the previous school year, said. “She always goes above and beyond to help others no matter what the situation. She’s largely involved with our school and truly cares about the well-being of not only our campus, but the students it encompasses.”

Collins encourages students to get involved in the peer mentoring program. The Office of Multicultural Development is currently hiring for next year. Applications are available online on The University of Akron’s website.