The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Mentoring program offers student support at kickoff

By Lee Mendez/ reporter

Quentin Hart

Men of Color Mentoring is a program at TCC that offers students mentorships that will provide academic and personal support.

Its overall goal is to “address the challenges of first-generation college students, traditionally underrepresented groups and students in need of academic and personal direction” as the organization’s literature states.

The group invited students and staff to join its spring kickoff Feb. 16 on TR Campus.

TR president Sean Madison opened the ceremony with a challenge.

“Take this opportunity to get to know someone,” he said. “Get to know an individual whom you’ve not met and learn a little something about them.”

Relocated from Puerto Rico over a year ago, TR student Arnaldo Bosques had Madison’s challenge in mind when he joined Men of Color. Looking to expand his social network in his new home of Fort Worth, Bosques learned about the organization and signed up.

“I heard about TCC right away when I moved here,” Bosques said. “As I was registering and going through financial aid, a friend of mine applied to Men of Color, and I decided to join.”

Bosques has attended past Men of Color events and said he liked that the presentations are engaging.

“It’s not just looking at a PowerPoint presentation,” he said. “There’s lots of interaction too, so you get to meet different people at these events.”

TR student Jamal Dillon agreed the presentations Men of Color organizes always allow for interaction with a diverse group. Dillon expressed his interest in joining the Air Force after he completes his studies at TCC and said Men of Color is helping to mold him into the effective type of leader the military needs.

“Being a leader means knowing what’s going on,” Dillon said. “This organization gives you a better perspective of what’s going on in the community.”

Freddie Sandifer, student success coordinator for Men of Color Mentoring, began with the group five years ago and spoke at length about “creating a level playing field” for all students.

“Our main mission is for students to realize their full value and worth,” he said. “We are looking to fill the gaps students may encounter with support and help them to use the resources already available on campus.”

The event featured Quentin Hart, the first black mayor of Waterloo, Iowa, who shared his personal account of leading a “double life” as a young adult, engaging in criminal activity while showing tremendous potential in school.

Hart gave personal accounts of struggling with the pressures of his environment, a traditionally disenfranchised area of Waterloo, as he sought to abandon a street life for the pursuit of higher education.

“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything,” Hart said. “You have no idea the potential that rests inside of all of you. You have no idea what you can possibly be. If you fight for a better community, if you fight for a better self, if you fight for your purpose, then your world can change in so many directions.”

Hart said faculty and staff should continue to look at mentorship opportunities as a way of positively shaping students’ lives comprehensively.

“This is the bar we need to have set to reach to,” Hart said. “And that is not just impacting someone’s life in a class, but that’s impacting their lives forever.”

Sandifer said the need for more mentors is always present, and he would like to see the organization grow in size and scope. He believes the program’s strength and efficacy would increase if mentor outreach began as early as junior high.

“By starting at a young age, they would be better equipped with the knowledge to be successful in high school, college and beyond,” he said. “Part of the challenges many of these students are facing right now is that they aren’t aware of the resources available to them. We want students to be aware of the tools they have.”

Men of Color Mentoring is available for all TCC students to join and welcomes individuals interested in the program to sign up. For more information, contact mcm@tccd.edu or freddie.sandifer@tccd.edu. To apply for membership into the program, sign up at www.tccd.edu/MCMapply.

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