It’s been nearly one year since Pierce College has held on campus classes and activities, yet the Peer-To-Peer mentor program still is working to make the transition as smooth as possible for first year college students.
Sidra Bahadar, who has been the coordinator of the Peer-To-Peer mentor program for nearly five years, said she wants to forge strong connections to newcomers during these uncertain times.
“These first year students have yet to ever step foot on the Pierce College campus, meet any staff or professors face to face,” Bahadar said. “This is an opportunity for them to connect with peers virtually so they know that they are not alone.”
The Peer-To-Peer mentor program helps students excel through their transition from high school to college.
“It is designed to provide support and guidance to new students, we pair them with peer mentors to help them make their first year at Pierce College easier and more welcoming,” Bahadar said.
Throughout the semester, the Peer-To-Peer mentor program hosts events and question and answers to encourage students to get involved, build connections, and learn more about Pierce College all while having fun via Zoom.
“Some of our events actually led to students setting up game nights together,” Bahadar said. “It is incredible to see that one zoom event got them comfortable with each other and expressing similar interests and hobbies.”
Hovig Dadayan, a mentor in the Peer-To-Peer mentor program encouraged everyone to take part in their fun and educational game during their zoom event.
“We created a Kahoot because we decided it would be fun for all of us to take part of and you guys can still learn about frequently asked questions,” Dadayan said. “Whoever gets the highest score on the quiz will win a gift card.”
After the Kahoot game, the mentors held a question and answer for first year students to ask questions and seek guidance.
“I am undecided right now, but I love hearing all of your different majors because it opens my eyes to see what other opportunities are out there for me,”said Dacia Chavez, a first year Pierce College student in the Peer-To-Peer program.
The peer mentors encouraged the first year students to take a career path quiz that helps undecided students figure out and understand which major is right for them.
“It is really important that you guys take advantage of things that Colleges are offering you,” Bahadar said. “These things outsides of colleges are usually pretty expensive.”
On top of ensuring that first year students are having a smooth transition from high school to college and are feeling welcomed to Pierce, Bahadar believes the Peer-To-Peer mentor program is helping in more ways.
“A lot of students are feeling really alone right now,” Bahadar said. “Since everything has transitioned to being online and at home, they do not have a contact person at Pierce to reach out to and they really do need support, especially right now, the mentors are their support person.”