The UGA Mentor Program is the first comprehensive mentorship initiative at the University of Georgia. It will launch publicly on Wednesday, June 12. Alumni, including staff and faculty, are invited to create a profile at mentor.uga.edu if they are interested in mentoring a student. When students return to campus in August, they will begin pairing with alumni so that mentoring can begin this fall.
A successful pilot of the program was executed this spring with over 115 mentor pairs, including LeBria Casher, a rising senior majoring in English and comparative literature. LeBria’s mentor was Allison Ausband (ABJ ’83), who graduated with a journalism degree, serves on the UGA Board of Trustees and is the senior vice president of in-flight service at Delta Air Lines. LeBria shared a little about her experience piloting the new UGA Mentor Program…
What made you want to be a mentee?
When I heard about the UGA Mentor Program, I knew without a doubt what a wonderful opportunity it was and that I should apply immediately. Various organizations at UGA have shown me what it’s like to be a student mentor or mentee, but the UGA Mentor Program offered me a chance to connect with an alumnus on a personal level. I was able to choose a mentor that would share my major, interests, or experience at UGA. Also, I wanted to have a mentor who would support my goals and help me develop them.
What was your biggest fear?
I was scared that I would have a mentor who didn’t care, but I was quickly put at ease. My mentor, Allison, genuinely supported my ambitions and talked me through my goals. Also, I’ve seen and heard how the alumni who participate in the UGA Mentor Program want to see students succeed.
What has been the biggest surprise?
The biggest surprise was the flexibility of the UGA Mentor Program. It wasn’t time-consuming. It didn’t interfere with my class schedule, work, or any other obligations. I got to establish how frequently I wanted to communicate with my mentor, and we communicated monthly via email, telephone, and in-person.
Why has this been so meaningful for you?
I enjoyed having someone in my corner who wants the best for me. Despite the official mentoring relationship ending, I feel comfortable contacting my mentor and knowing she is still willing to offer me advice.
Describe the UGA Mentor Program in three words.
Investment. Significant. Worthwhile.
What would you tell someone considering UGA Mentor Program?
Don’t hesitate to apply! It really is a great program because there’s a mentor and commitment that’s right for everybody. Having a mentor is a great chance to look at someone else’s journey from UGA to where they are now — especially if it aligns with your interests. Mentors are a valuable source of information, and you get out of the mentoring relationship what you put into it. You never know what good will come from the relationship. Everyone should take the time to look at the website, the FAQs, and contact the UGA Mentor Program team if they are unsure of anything.
Interested in learning more about the UGA Mentor Program?