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Mentors offered for first generation students

Kristen Campbell
News Editor

Starting college can be hectic, especially if the student is a first generation college student.

The Office of Multicultural Services at the University of La Verne offers a program to ease the load of starting in uncharted territories.

The First Generation Student Success Program was established in 1996 and has assisted more than 500 students and their families.

The FGSSP is run by the Office of Multicultural Services.

“In the current school year, 65 percent of the first-time students at ULV are in fact first generation students, whereas usually it is more around 40 percent,” said Daniel Loera, director of the Office of Multicultural Services.

When the FGSSP program was initiated at the University of La Verne, it served more students at the time because of more available funds. Over the years, the program’s offers have fluctuated in relation to budgetary status each year.

Each year, first generation students are invited to apply for a two-year scholarship and for the program’s benefits. The FGSSP wants to extend the scholarship for all four years of attendance, but the funding has not been provided.

Once a student joins the program, he or she is required to choose a faculty member as their mentor, and must attend three workshops per semester. Mentors and students are then encouraged to meet at least once a month to track the student’s progress in their collegiate career.

All workshops offered throughout the semester are geared towards academic success and gaining life skills. Some seminars include topics such as interview etiquette, resume writing and staying healthy during finals.

“Although the program is aimed at first generation students, any ULV student may join to acquire a mentor or participate in the workshops,” said Gyasmine George, graduate assistant in the Office of Multicultural Services. “However, the scholarship portion of the program is reserved for the first generation students.”

The mentors of the FGSSP are currently faculty and staff of the university, but they hope the students that have gone through the program will become mentors.

“My mentor is Anita Chico and she is amazing. She understands the dynamics of the social science department and helps me push myself to success,” said Carina Gonzalez, freshman criminology major.

“I want all students to understand the value of a mentor. He or she can help maximize your success in your academic career by challenging you to do and be your best,” Loera said.

For more information about the FGSSP, there will be a meeting from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday in the Campus Center Ballroom A.

Or students may contact Daniel Loera at dloera@laverne.edu.

Kristen Campbell can be reached at kristen.campbell@laverne.edu.

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