Benefits of Working with WeRyse
Michael Benko opens his TED Talk about the benefits of peer mentorship with the question: "What has allowed some of our greatest leaders, some of our greatest influencers, to become what they are?” His answer is that they all had a mentor personally invested in them. He continues to stress the importance of having more mentors available to the younger generation, and particularly the need for peer mentors, because of “a generational gap problem.” I couldn’t agree more. This is one of the reasons why WeRyse, is a mentoring experience for college students with a peer mentor rather than a faculty or administrator advisor, eliminating this generational gap. The benefits of working with WeRyse and not a faculty mentor includes both elimination of the generational gap and of any possible conflict of interest.
Working with a peer or a recent college graduate, rather than an adult, who is further removed from the college climate these students are navigating, creates a stronger bond due to shared expriences. Students are more likely to trust someone that they see as relatable. That generational gap, can be problematic because students may not listen to the advice from an adult because they believe them to be out of touch with the current reality. This creates a breakdown in the mentor-mentee relationship and it is ultimately ineffective. Working with a peer or someone much closer in age, often results in a
more effective relationship that benefits all.
Check out Michael Benko’s TED Talk:
Another important reason to work with a peer mentor or third party advisor, rather than a faculty or administrator from your school, is the mentor is working for you and your movement, not for the school. A faculty or administrative staff member is hired by the college or university and this can create a conflict of interest. At times they may feel the need to protect the schools reputation, and may have the schools best interested at heart, not your movement’s, whether that is their intention or not. As an outside party from you school, I will work for you, always having your movement’s best interest at heart. I will advise you through all the difficulty and even backlash from your school should you experience it. I will ensure you are never silenced, even if other’s may have done so in the past unintentionally.
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