Thursday, January 7, 2016

Enjoy a Rewarding Career as a Peer Mentor!

Photo of Peer Mentor Group: Samra Hausey, Dani Cross, Shira Charyn, Chris Kreschollek
Rio Peer Mentors (left to right): Samra Hausey, Dani Cross, Shira Charyn, Chris Kreschollek (front)
Rio Salado is looking for a select few students to join the Academic Advisement team to serve as peer mentors. This feature, written by Academic Advisor Alyssa DeMember will provide some insights into the enriching work they do.

The peer mentor program at Rio Salado College assists students seeking college degrees through the perspective of a fellow student.

While peer mentors work for Rio Salado College, they’re students as well, taking classes and pursuing their own educational goals. With a bit of school experience under their belts, these mentors reach out to other Rio Salado students and guide them through their college careers, answering questions and providing resources along the way. As they encounter the same challenges and questions, peer mentors seek to provide help, important information and a sense of camaraderie among the student population.

Samantha Hill
Peer mentors help connect students with resources like tutoring, counseling services and the book store, and urge students to get in contact with their academic advisors, says Samantha Hill, a peer mentor at Rio Salado College.

They assist students in navigating RioLearn, the platform students use to access and participate in classes, and answer questions students may have about contacting their instructors or requesting extensions on assignments.

“It’s neat to work with them, share ideas and see what works and what doesn’t,” Hill says.

Hill says time management is the most frequent topic that comes up when students reach out to her. Often, students come to her to express their concerns, looking for support and advice.

“I’ll look at their schedules and say things like, ‘Okay, what if we got up early in the mornings, would that give you more time to study?’” Hill says.

images of Rio Salado students looking at the camera

“I like that it feels like a support system because we ultimately have the same goals,” Hill says. “We’re all helping each other out. I know their struggles and they know mine. Working together gives us confidence that we really can do it.”

She tries to help students develop a schedule where they have time for studying, time for family, and time for work.

Angelique Michel
Angelique Michel, a former peer mentor at Rio Salado College, says seeing students grow and become more confident in themselves was one of her favorite aspects of the job.

She says she felt particularly lucky to have worked with a student who had just gotten out of prison and was determined to make something of himself.

“Nothing is better than seeing someone come from low self-esteem to feeling like they can conquer the world,” says Michel.

According to Michel, the peer mentor position helped her build the career skills to move on to her new job as a career advisor at Goodwill.

“Everything I did at Rio totally made this job possible,” says Michel.

For more information about applying to become a student peer mentor, please visit this employment web page

The Maricopa County Community College District is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Contributing writer Alyssa DeMember has served Rio Salado's Academic Advisement team since 2014. She is one of several academic advisors available to help you along your educational journey.

Visit this web page for details about advisement services available to you.