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 30 UC Davis undergraduate students and one second year UC Davis Med School student 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 four areas:
- Academic: 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. Some academic mentors will go with Redwood SEED Scholars to UC Davis courses that they will be auditing. They will help support their 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: Social mentors help the Redwood SEED Scholars to learn specific skills that are necessary in the first weeks of school. Additionally, as the quarter and the year goes on, social mentors help Redwood SEED Scholars reach out to campus organizations and/or clubs that are in their area of interest. The social mentors build a bridge to social opportunities and support the Redwood SEED Scholars as needed to successfully participate in these opportunities. This is an unpaid volunteer position with a time commitment of two hours a week.
- Health and Wellness: 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. This is an unpaid volunteer position with a time commitment of two hours a week.
- Residential - PAID POSITION - Residential mentors work to support Redwood SEED Scholars in residential living. They will check in with each scholar in the morning and at night to see how their residential living experience is going. The Redwood SEED Scholars will be sharing dorm rooms together, using a shared bathroom with the dorm floor and eating 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 an hour.
How To Become a Mentor
There are a variety of ways to become a mentor:
- 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 -
**This course is not required but builds skills, gives knowledge and is a fantastic resource for future mentors.
- Mentors are solicited in the 8th week of the quarter. Fill out this application.
- When your application is reviewed, you may be asked to interview for the mentorship opportunity.
- 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: