Let’s face it: college can be stressful and intimidating at times, especially for any first-year or transfer student. Being in a new environment as a student of an underrepresented and underserved minority can add another level of uncertainty.
However, Winona State University seeks to serve its students of diverse backgrounds and groups. Students are invited to enter a safe and welcoming community that offers opportunities for mentorship.
What Is the SILCC Program?
The Inclusion and Diversity Office takes pride in its mentoring program, Students Impacting Lives on Campus and in the Community (SILCC). First-year and transfer students are paired with an older mentor who helps them throughout the year to become better acclimated with the campus and community, making their transition even smoother and enjoyable.
The program’s mission is to “provide support, academic assistance, social guidance, and positive campus survival skills by developing activities and interactions with peer mentors to address personal needs.”
From Mentee to Mentor: My Experience
Last year, I personally joined the program as a mentee and was assigned a mentor. Each semester, my mentor helped me set academic goals and social goals. Additionally, we met once a month to plan out steps to help me reach those goals by the end of the semester.
Going through this program as a freshman and being surrounded by a strong, diverse community helped me appreciate and feel comfortable with my identity. Though I struggle a lot going to school on a predominantly white campus, I have been able to realize the opportunities I’ve been given to step out with confidence as a leader.
This year, as an upperclassman, I have been able to mentor a freshman student. It has been such a cool experience to give back to the program and community of diverse students by serving as a mentor myself. While I am still able to explore my identity and role as a diverse leader, I get the opportunity to help my mentee become empowered and confident in her identity—which makes my job extremely gratifying.
Celebrating Diversity on Campus
Through the SILCC mentoring program, I have learned that a diverse population of students is something to be celebrated and embraced, and I am proud to be a part of something that promotes this on my college campus.
I have loved being a part of this program and I would like to encourage other students to get involved in it as well!
Three Easy Steps to Get Involved
- Visit the SILCC Program webpage to learn more information.
- Fill out the application to become either a mentee or mentor.
- Reach out to Tyler Treptow-Bowman if you have any questions or concerns.