Human Development and Family Studies peer mentoring program seeks applicants to support first-generation and diverse students

HDFS peer mentors painting night
HDFS peer mentors enjoying a painting night.

Launched in 2018, the Peer Mentoring Program in the Colorado State University Department of Human Development and Family Studies was designed to create a supportive community for students who identify as being first-generation college students or who identify with racially/ethnically diverse backgrounds. This innovative program is now recruiting HDFS students to serve as mentors for Fall 2021.

The program is centered on a one-to-one mentoring model where junior and senior HDFS students serve as peer mentors for incoming, first-year students. Leveraging their experiences and identities and through relationships with their mentees, HDFS Peer Mentors help shape the transition experience for new first-year students, while developing interpersonal communication skills, leadership skills, and enhancing their campus and professional networks. Mentees gain access to resources and individualized mentorship to support a successful transition to CSU and HDFS.

Leadership opportunity

In addition to the one-to-one peer mentoring component, mentors and mentees enroll in an accompanying 1-credit course.  The course allows mentors and mentees to learn with and from each other through a curriculum intentionally designed for leadership development and student success. To date, 42 students have participated in the HDFS Peer Mentoring program.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program this year included a small, committed group of juniors and seniors which allowed us to tailor the curriculum on leadership development, with a particular focus on first-generation, women of color. One of the highlights this year was hosting a leadership panel comprised of first-generation women of color in leadership positions across the country.

Apply to be a mentor

“We are hoping for a return to one-on-one, in-person mentoring in the Fall of 2021 and are currently recruiting for HDFS Peer Mentors,” said Lucy Paltoo-Brady, academic success coordinator in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and a first-generation college graduate herself.

The 2021-2022 Peer Mentoring application is now open and the priority submission date is April 2. Students interested in becoming an HDFS Peer Mentor can apply online. To find out more about the HDFS Peer Mentoring Program, check out this this CSU Source article and this video to hear from previous mentors and mentees about their experience.

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.