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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Mentors guide students’ paths

Shelly+Heideman+and+Jason+Bengtsson+meet+in+the+NE+library+and+discuss+the+Men+of+Color+Collaborative.+Photo+by+Joseph+Serrata%2FThe+Collegian
Shelly Heideman and Jason Bengtsson meet in the NE library and discuss the Men of Color Collaborative. Photo by Joseph Serrata/The Collegian
September, 18, 2019 | Jill Bold | campus editor

Coordinator of special projects Raytosha Jones mentors NE student Evan Brown during a Men of Color Collaboration event. MCC helps students reach their goals. Photo by Joseph Serrata/The CollegianThe Men of Color Collaborative hosted an event with the Intercultural Network, providing an opportunity for active members to meet and interact with mentors who bestow encouragement and support.

The event facilitated one-on-one sessions between trained mentors and MCC active members in the Heritage Room in NLIB 1129C.

“Members gain insight and advice from real, living successful individuals that will help them manage multiple aspects of their lives, while in pursuit of their goals and aspirations,” said Al Martin, administrative assistant with the Intercultural Network. “The mentors will be a mix of faculty and staff from TCC NE.”

Event coordinator Marjeanna Burge explained that the mentor received training on how to navigate the mentoring relationship from beginning to end, and that members benefit from this training and experience.

“Data and research shows there’s a need for the MCC program,” Burge said. NE Campus has 22 mentors ready to guide students.

Shelly Heideman and Jason Bengtsson meet in the NE library and discuss the Men of Color Collaborative. Photo by Joseph Serrata/The Collegian
Shelly Heideman and Jason Bengtsson meet in the NE library and discuss the Men of Color Collaborative.
Photo by Joseph Serrata/The Collegian

She explained MCC members can contact a success coach to get an appointment with an adviser who then helps with an academic plan. After that assessment, they find the areas where the student needs additional support. The student can plan for a short term or long term mentorship.

“Sometimes one just wants to commit to one semester, or they might do it for a whole academic year, but there’s clarity between a mentor and mentee,” Burge said.

Students who have just begun college after high school, like NE student Evan Brown, attended the event to get some general direction in his life. He has not yet declared a major and is seeking guidance from a mentor.

“I’m looking for advice on getting started,” Brown said.

NE student Fredrick Perry is set to graduate soon, but is still searching for a mentor to help him continue on his path to becoming a music therapist.

“I feel like a mentor would give me that encouragement to keep pushing, but it also gives me some insight into an educational background,” Perry said.

He spoke with mentor Matt Taylor and several others during the event.

“I connected with a lot of people. I’m glad I got to know Matt,” Perry said.

An assistant professor in the mental health program at NE Campus, Cynthia Savage is also a MCC mentor who brought her own mentorship success story. It serves as an inspiration to her as she recalls how vital it was to her prosperity in life.

“I had an awesome mentor,” Savage said. “He mentored me all the way through college when I didn’t think I could do it. He encouraged me all the way and said ‘Yes, you can.’ And I did very well. But without his encouragement, I don’t think I would have made it as far as I did.”

MCC hopes to provide a similar experience for students on NE Campus who seek guidance through mentorship.

Savage said the message is simple: “We’re here for you.”

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