Mentors Needed for Promise Scholars

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
Angela South Image

TMCC Student Outreach Coordinator Angela South leads a mentor information session during Fall Semester.

The math is great when looking at the number of potential college scholars who have applied for the new Nevada Promise Scholarship: 1,792. But the Promise equation needs a mentor for each student, and only 120 mentors have signed up so far.

Student Outreach Coordinator Angela South said that many more mentors are needed.

Beneficially, the math related to time-commitment is quite low—mentors need only to meet in person with their mentee once each semester for about an hour, and follow up by phone or email once a month. In this respect, there is an opportunity for education- and community-minded individuals to do a great deal of good based on a small amount of time.

“Mentorship shines the light throughout an educational path,” said Carlos Castro-Peralta, Adult and Non-Traditional Student Recruiter. “Mentorship offers encouragement, inspiration, guidance, and growth for first-generation students.”

South agrees.

“Mentoring works—I experienced firsthand the positive impact a mentoring relationship has on a young adult,” she said. “Being the first one in my family to attend college brought some disadvantages, but being part of the Dean's Future Scholars Program and being assigned a college mentor by them helped me break down those barriers, making an inestimable difference in my life."

The TMCC Access, Outreach, and Recruitment team is actively seeking additional volunteers to be mentors. Potential mentors are asked to apply online, or contact Angela South at 775-673-8205.

Mentor Qualities and Guidelines

In addition to meeting with a mentee, or a group of mentees, once during the semester and following up by email once a month, there are additional mentor guidelines, including the following:

  • Willing to serve.
  • Eager to help shape Nevada’s future by guiding the community's youth.
  • Ready to share knowledge and expertise.
  • Enthusiastic about working with young people and helping them grow as future professionals.
  • Passionate about one’s work.
  • Kind and ready to pass it on.

Mentors decide how many students to coach, but each mentor can take as many as 10 mentees. Steps to becoming a mentor and more details about mentorship are listed on the TMCC Nevada Promise Scholarship mentors page.

About the Nevada Promise Scholarship

The Nevada Legislature established the groundbreaking new Promise Scholarship program during the spring session to benefit community college students starting Fall Semester 2018.

This last-dollar scholarship will allow those with a Nevada 2018 high school diploma or equivalent, under 20 years of age to complete up to three years of community college without paying out of pocket for registration (tuition) and other mandatory fees, if they meet requirements.

The Promise award is "last-dollar" financial aid, meaning that it will cover whatever is not already provided for by other gift aid, grants or scholarships.

Students are eligible for the Promise if this is their first college degree, they do not owe any money in federal student loans or aid refunds, and they meet all program deadlines. They also have to perform 20 hours of community service, as well as apply for financial aid.

One of the additional requirements for the award is that scholars must meet with a mentor once a semester, and follow up with their mentor by phone or email.

Since each mentor can take as many as 10 mentees, he or she may schedule the once-a-semester meeting as a group session. Mentors may choose how many scholars to coach and many have asked for one or two students.

Once in school, they need to enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester.

The Promise Scholarship applies to the four public institutions in Nevada considered community colleges: TMCC, Great Basin College (GBC), Western Nevada College (WNC), and College of Southern Nevada (CSN).

For more information about becoming a Promise Scholarship mentor, please contact Angela South at 775-673-8205.