Student Peer Mentors

What do peer mentors do?

Peer mentors build community, foster relationships, hold advising sessions, and try to help and support in whatever way we can. We find resources, are a resource, refer students to other people as resources, and help to make the first year of college easier

What does it mean to be a peer mentor?

Jada Rogers

"For me a peer mentor is somebody who is a support system or an outlet for first year and transfer student in if the need support throughout their college career. 

To be able to support those voices who are too often left behind in meaning Black and Brown voices.

To be able to help student navigate through this, unjustly systematic and institutional paradigm we call schooling. 

To help support Black and Brown voices heal and survive throughout their college career. 

To be able to help them reimage the way they want their college experience to be. 

FWS is program great way for first incoming students and transfer students to embark on new learning and unlearning experience of how institution work. To be help guide and show students the best resources and routes to help them succeed and embark change in higher education like Western Washington. I think also role of being peer mentor is being transparent and real with student about the college life experiences and how these institutions work. Peer mentorship about building relationships, family and community with their mentee. Most importantly helping first year students have the best experience they can in entering Higher education."

Jada Rogers
Woodring Peer Mentor, Fairhaven & ESJ
Ilona Brose

"Being a peer mentor means being a resource for students who are trying to navigate their first year of college. The first year is strange and challenging for many students, especially first-generation college students. Figuring out how to pick classes, how to manage time, how to make friends, how to do anything in college is hard. Not to mention that now we are in a pandemic as well. Being a peer mentor now, during COVID19, means being a virtual support. To be a peer mentor also means to be proud, proud of these students surviving and navigating college online during a pandemic. 

To be a peer mentor also means to be someone who tries to disrupt the system we are working within. The FWS program supports students who the system was built against or was built in a way that was unwelcoming to them. By supporting students and helping them to succeed, we are, as Western would say, ‘making waves’ of change. We work to create the future we want to see, even if the institution does not have the same vision as us." 

Ilona Brose
Woodring Peer Mentor, SPED & ELED
Waverly Shreffler

"My role as a peer mentor is to cultivate positive relationships and community with first-year college students. We promote academic and personal success through frequent communication, community events, academic planning and support, and sharing resources and events. As students navigate their first year of college and take courses that help them to build a critical consciousness and understanding of education systems, we as mentors support their growth as agents of change who have the skills and knowledge to pursue human services and education programs. 

Mentoring during a pandemic means that it is especially important to provide inclusive and safe spaces for students to collectively and individually process, grieve, and communicate. Being a peer mentor this year has challenged me to practice critical self-reflection and professional development to become more aware of my positionality as a mentor, as well as to understand the various systemic barriers to education that students face, many of which are exacerbated by COVID-19. Mentoring through entirely virtual platforms is an ongoing learning process, but it has also been the most gratifying and important work I have done this past year."

Waverly Shreffler
Woodring Peer Mentor, B.A. Environmental ED & MIT