History of the program
The PMP was founded in 1999 as a structure of support for students of Hispanic/Latino origin during their first year at the University. The goal: to help students make the transition to University life in academics, co-curriculars and socially, by enlisting the help of the people best equipped to help, namely, young men and women of Hispanic/Latino origin or affinity already succeeding at the University and enjoying life here.
Research and experience show that students perform better when they feel truly part of a college community – which tends to be a challenge for most first-year students.
For Latino/Hispanic students, the importance of connection to family and, often, to language, can be harnessed to create a “familia” away from home, a network of support fostering a higher quality of life and academic success. Having a Peer Mentor, along with other forms of support, a student doesn’t have to feel like just 1 person lost among 14,000 undergraduates.
The PMP Experience
The program thrives to create an experience that is both personal and enriching for each mentee. By creating small familias based on common interests each mentee can benefit from a personalized relationship with their mentors and fellow peers, enriching their overall experience. The program also supports the development of mentors through the use of training, peer support and a network of faculty resources
A mentee is any incoming student who identifies as Hispanic/Latino. All first year and transfer students are invited to the program the summer before they matriculate to UVA. Anyone who is a new incoming student and wishes to be involved may contact the program coordinator Michelle Sawwan firstname.lastname@example.org or the executive board email@example.com to join.