Standing– third from the right Dayanara Rojas-Tello, fourth from right Jose Valle
Kneeling—first from right Jimena Ramos-Santana and fifth (last) from right Amayrani Calvario Salgado
On Saturday, April 11, Durham Tech students Amayrani Calvario Salgado, Dayanara Rojas, Jimena Ramos, and José Valle attended a mentor training at North Carolina State University’s
Juntos program along with students from North Carolina Central University and Johnston County Community College. Juntos means “together” in Spanish and works to unite community partners with Latino students to help those students achieve high school graduation and access higher education.
Durham Tech representatives chose to participate in this student mentorship training because the Center for the Global Learner has a newly formed club called Cambiando Caminos, or “changing paths” in English. This group plans to be ready to offer mentorship services to first-year incoming students this fall. Durham Tech students wanted to learn answers to questions such as how does a mentoring program work, what does it involve, what does being a mentor mean, how to recruit mentors and mentees, etc.
The Juntos mentoring program started a year ago and learning about their experiences was very valuable, according to Amayrani, a Latino Student Ambassador at Durham Tech. “Hearing about what has worked for them and what has not allowed helped us come up with ideas to try for our own group,” she says. “We also brainstormed about how to start a mentoring program, what resources do we already have on our campus, how to recruit mentors and mentees, what kind of events do we want to have, and what other resources are we missing and how we should we go about it securing them.”
She says that she personally enjoyed the experience very much. “I feel like this is my way of giving back to the community by helping incoming freshmen learn and grow at Durham Tech, and how to prepare themselves for the next step after community college. I want to support those students and let them know that they have a family in the mentoring program and that they’re not alone in this journey.”
The students agreed that before the training at State, they had little realization or appreciation for the full meaning of what being a mentor represents. According to Amayrani, “being a mentor means supporting your mentee, motivating him/her to reach their maximum potential in all aspects, providing resources so that they know what they want to major in, sharing your experience along with your successes and mistakes so that they can learn from them and avoid making the same ones.