The VCU African American Alumni Council’s Mentoring Circle has steadily become an integral and undeniably important program, according to those close to the circle.
Recently, the group held a virtual appreciation happy hour its our mentors. VCU Rector Keith Parker (B.A.’90/H&S; M.U.R.P.’93/GPA) along with VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., addressed mentors and program supporters. During that address, there was conversation that Black male students have one of the lowest graduation rates at the university.
“Our program was deemed vital in helping address this issue,” noted a statement from the group.
“Cohort 7 is fast approaching! It runs for a full year, starting in April 2021, and we are expecting nearly 100 male African American students to enroll as mentees. Simply put, we NEED you! Our students are facing very peculiar and difficult times while working to earn one of their most valuable assets, a college degree. A pandemic, civil unrest, an assault on their very being and a higher chance of financial and food insecurity. Still, THEY PRESS ON!
“They need us! They need our support, our guidance, our kind words, our listening ear, our influence, our connections, our experience and MOST of all our UNDERSTANDING.
“We also continue to need female mentors. Our African American female mentees are consistently more than 75% of our program participants on a consistent basis.”
Below you will find a few reminders about the program:
1) It pairs male to male and female to female.
2) This is not an academic program and do not pair by major. It helps guide students through the unique experience as an African American student at VCU. It encourages them to use all VCU resources to promote their academic success.
3) The program requires two monthly contacts with a mentee. This program has ALWAYS been remote; you can be a mentor from anywhere, as long as you have earned any kind of degree at VCU.
4) Follow the monthly discussion points designed to promote consistency and measurable results.
5) Be willing to serve!
Future mentors, we thank you for your time. We cannot express how important it is for all of us to give back to our young, gifted and Black future leaders. Whatever they are facing, we cannot allow them to face it alone.
Black alumni, can sign up to be mentors at go.vcu.edu/vculink.