The Sentry

Want to be an FYSP mentor?

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If you’re looking to take on a leadership role at RMU, you should definitely look into becoming a First Year Seminar Program (FYSP) mentor next school year. The program takes place during the fall semester only, but there are a lot of memories made and lessons learned in that short time.

Aveenash Kumar, a junior actuarial science major, was a FYSP mentor last semester and enjoyed every moment of it. When he was a freshman, he was in the Global Ambassadors program, where he was given a mentor that helped him adjust to the college environment. Since then, he has wanted to help other freshmen get adjusted to campus life as well. He ended up being a Global Ambassador his sophomore year, and has acted as a mentor to the international students. Later that year, one of his friends advised him to reach out to the domestic students as well, and he saw applying to FYSP as a method to do that.

Kumar said that before applying, the “first step [to becoming a mentor] is knowing that you want to help freshmen and community.”

Applicants also have to realize that this is a “big time commitment.” Each mentor is given a faculty instructor, and they both teach a class once a week. Mentors have to make sure they create time in their schedule to work with their instructor for the next class while coming up with activities to keep the students engaged in the community.

“It was challenging in the first two weeks just because I am an SGA president, student tutor and a mentor all at the same time,” Kumar said.

FYSP mentors also have to set up fun events to make sure the freshmen are getting involved. A couple of the events were “Pie Your Mentor,” which involved students throwing a pie at their mentor for $1, and “FYSP Feud:” a competitive event which followed the format of the “Family Feud” game show. Kumar saw these events as great opportunities to get to know the other leaders on campus and increase the freshman retention rate. Getting to know his men-tees reminded him of when he was a freshman.

“I wish I had that someone to guide me through college,” Kumar said. “This program can make you be that ‘someone’ for someone else.”

Deadline for applying to the FYSP mentoring program is February 2. If you’re interested in applying for FYSP, simply search for FYSP from the RMU home page, then you’ll see the link to apply: http://studentlife.rmu.edu/center-for-student-success/first-year-seminar-program/.

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