redwood seed student


student and mentor pose for picture on IPSE Day

Mentors - We Need You!!

The UC Davis Redwood SEED (Supported Education to Elevate Diversity) Scholars Program needs mentors who are willing to support our scholars. The support our mentors provide is invaluable and an important part of the success for the Redwood SEED Scholars.

Currently, we have over 40 UC Davis undergraduate students, several UC Davis Med School students, grad students in Psychology, Biomedical Engineering and Art History who are mentors for our Redwood SEED Scholars.

What is the value of this mentorship opportunity for the mentors?

We believe that mentorship is a two way street - mutually beneficial for all involved.

In study after study, mentorship of students with intellectual disabilities in a post-secondary program is “transformational” for the mentors involved.

Mentors develop “soft skills” that are necessary for success in the workplace and valuable in real life. Skills like patience, compassion, altruism, open-mindedness, flexibility, ability to problem-solve and think on your feet, and clear communication are just some of the skills that mentors identify being developed within themselves with this opportunity. Mentors also describe the link of mentorship as a stabilizing force during the difficult moments of college for themselves.

We have mentors in five areas:

  • Academic Mentors: Academic Mentors support the Redwood SEED Scholars in  academics. This includes help with organization, executive functioning, planning, accessing student supports on campus and tutoring in academic classes. For our first year Redwood SEED Scholars, the Academic Mentor supports the students in a group setting from 4-5pm Monday - Friday or on the week-ends as needed. As some of our second year Redwood SEED Scholars begin taking more UC Davis courses in their areas of interest, we will need Academic Mentors to go with Redwood SEED Scholars to the course they will be auditing. The Academic Mentor will help support the Redwood SEED Scholar’s learning in that course in a variety of ways.  This is an unpaid volunteer position with a time commitment of two hours a week.
  • Social Inclusion Mentors: Social Inclusion Mentors help the Redwood SEED Scholars to learn specific skills that are necessary in the first weeks of school. This includes learning paths around campus, and learning how to bike ride safely on campus. Additionally, as the quarter and the year goes on, Social Inclusion Mentors help Redwood SEED Scholars reach out to campus organizations and/or clubs that are in their area of interest. The Social Inclusion Mentors build a bridge to social opportunities and support the Redwood SEED Scholars as needed to successfully participate in these opportunities.  Most Social Inclusion Mentors are partnered up one-to-one or one-to-two. This is an unpaid volunteer position with a time commitment of two hours a week. 

  • Health and Wellness Mentors: We know the health disparities that exist for adults with intellectual disabilities. For this reason, our health and wellness mentors will work with our Redwood SEED Scholars to help develop health habits that will last into adulthood. Health and wellness mentors will meet each week to exercise, consider food choices, learn about nutrition, mindfulness and mental health with the Redwood SEED Scholars.  Most Health and Wellness Mentors will be partnered up one-to-one or one-to-two. This is an unpaid volunteer position with a time commitment of two hours a week.

  • Employment Mentors: PAID POSITION - Our program is dedicated to improving the adult lives of people with intellectual disabilities and employment is a key component of that improvement. When you develop skills and are employed with a living wage, you have more freedom and opportunity to live your life on your terms and to follow your dreams. Employment Mentors will support Redwood SEED Scholars in their employment experience on campus or within the community. This is usually a three hour chunk of time once or twice a week depending on the mentor’s availability. Fridays seem to be a common work day for our Redwood SEED Scholars but other days will be available as well. The Employment Mentor will receive specialized training from our Employment Director. This is a PAID position. The pay is $15.25 an hour. It is a 3-6 hour a week time commitment working one-to-one or one-to-two with Redwood SEED Scholars.

  • Residential Housing Mentors - PAID POSITION - Residential Housing Mentors work to support Redwood SEED Scholars in residential living. They check in with each scholar in the morning and at night to see how their residential living experience is going. The Redwood SEED Scholars share dorm rooms together, use a shared bathroom with the dorm floor and eat in the dining commons with all other first-year students. Living in the dorms is an adjustment for every single student, degree-seeking or not, and our residential mentors work to help the Redwood SEED Scholars navigate these new experiences and support them as needed.  The Residential Housing Mentor opportunity is a 6-10 hour a week time commitment and is paid at $15.25 an hour.

How To Become a Mentor

There are a variety of ways to become a mentor:

  1. Sign up to take the mentorship course offered by Beth Foraker in the First-Year Seminar portal:

    Disability Studies, Neurodiversity, Mentorship: How To Be An Ally -
    screenshot of seminar listing

    **This course is not required but builds skills, gives knowledge and is a fantastic resource for future mentors.
  2. Mentors are solicited in the 8th week of the quarter. Fill out this application.
  3. When your application is reviewed, you may be asked to interview for the mentorship opportunity.
  4. If you do become a mentor, you will be given 10 hours of training. 

The summative assignment for the First-Year Seminar Mentorship Course is to create a video welcoming the Redwood SEED Scholars to campus. The students are asked to share a favorite place on campus, an inside secret about UC Davis, or to explain some part of UC Davis that is essential to know.

Here are a few of our favorite videos:

On Campus: The Arboretum

On Campus Animals: The UC Davis Cows

On Campus: The Memorial Union