BYU-Idaho has great opportunities on campus for the students so they can have the best experience possible. One of the programs focuses on those first semester students, international students, students from low-income homes, students from single parent homes, first-generation members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or first-generation university students.
This program, called the Heber J. Grant Mentoring Program, provides students with their own personal mentor to help them set goals throughout the semester. Christopher Tena is the director for the program and said he also qualifies for the program in multiple ways.
“I was born in Mexico, I came here early on, my mom raised me then my grandmother…yeah I qualify for all of them but as the director I get to share that with my mentors,” he said.
What makes the program so special is that the students are given a mentor who has a similar background to them, so they can relate to each other. They work together the entire semester with goals to help those students be more self-reliant.
“We want to give them that friend, we want to give them that life coaching experience but ultimately we want them to succeed in their experience here in school,” Tena said.
Statistics show that those students who have the backgrounds explained above have a higher chance of dropping out of school. The goal of the Heber J. Grant Mentoring Program is to prevent that from happening. It also helps students know what resources to turn to when they face difficulties in subsequent semesters.
In his previous semesters, Christopher was a mentor and said he had incredible experiences with the student he was mentoring.
“And not to mention he helped me a lot in my personal life,” he said. “I still struggle, I’m still a student here and being with him and talking about my problems and how to overcome that was just great…we are still friends.”
Visit the Heber J. Grant Mentoring Program.