Peer Mentors Invaluable to New Students

Peer Mentors at Scripps play many roles in welcoming first-year and transfer students to the Scripps community. Along with the Orientation Advisory and Program Committees, Peer Mentors help plan and implement New Student Orientation. Throughout the school year, Mentors check in on their "mentees" frequently and make the time to help the first-years and transfer students get acclimated to Scripps and the surrounding area. Peer mentors can play a vital role in the sometimes difficult transition into the Scripps community by providing a familiar face to say hello to when walking around campus and giving their mentees the knowledge that they have someone to turn to when needed.

When asked about her decision to become a Peer Mentor, Sydney Freggiaro (‘09) said, "It was my last year at Scripps and I wanted to share my infinite wisdom with the incoming class—as a senior, I know that I'm about to leave but I have three years of experience to share with my first years."

Becoming a Peer Mentor requires a written application as well as a face-to-face interview with a staff member chosen to coordinate the selection process. Peer Mentors are required to return to Scripps a week before New Student Orientation and attend meetings and training sessions covering topics such as diversity and homesickness in order to be fully prepared to be a source of help and support for the new students.

The Peer Mentors also decorate their dorm hallways according to various themes. The Tollbot in Toll Hall, the paper flowers that adorn the walls of Dorsey and the music lyrics that are scrawled along the walls of Kimberly and Wilbur Hall—or should we say "Station KMWB"—are the handy work of Peer Mentors.

During New Student Orientation, Peer Mentors help students move in and are sources of information for both students and parents. During the first night at Scripps, new students are brought together with the rest of their mentor group (about four to six students per mentor) and spend time in the Peer Mentor's room to get acquainted. Throughout Orientation week, Peer Mentors escort their mentees to various events and activities, such as the Dean's dessert, Without A Box Comedy Night and other 5C events. Mentees are matched up with their mentor usually by dorm as well as through interests surveys filled out by the mentor. "Despite the many activities involving the entire ‘mentee group,' the Peer Mentor Program is more about the one-on-one relationship between the mentor and the mentee," stated Abby Granbery ('11), a Peer Mentor herself. "The program is a great way to meet the new students and create the connections that contribute to the close community that exists at Scripps."

Behind the scenes, Peer Mentors have frequent meetings throughout the year and complete monthly reports regarding what they have done with their mentees. MaryAlison Weintraub (‘09), Dorsey Peer Mentor Team Leader, is known to take her mentees on trips to 21 Choices. Mentors are expected to be role models and set good examples for others. Each month, a "Peer Mentor of the Month" prize is awarded, in which a mentor is selected according to her ability to uphold her responsibilities as well as by their progress with their mentees.

If you are interested in becoming a Peer Mentor for the 2009-2010 school year, be on the lookout for application materials, which will available soon.