Not so sweet: Reality of M&M program hits hard
Minus the initial, always awkward introductions and name exchanges, conversation was supposed to be flowing at the first meeting of the Peer to Peer Mentoring Program.
Although there were high hopes for the program, also known as M&M, the first meeting did not get great reviews from the freshman mentees.
Each freshman is assigned to one of 156 junior and senior mentors, and meets with his or her mentor once a month.
Upperclassman mentors underwent four hours of training over the summer, and are each assigned three to four freshmen mentees. A thirteen-member mentor board, consisting of students nominated by the Langley faculty, oversees the program.
Many of the freshmen said they thought that when they attended their first meeting, things could have gone better.
“It was awkward because we weren’t doing anything, and we were just sitting there,” said freshman McKenna Day. Kerry Bush, also a freshman, said that she “thought it was awkward because they didn’t have much to say.”
Some mentors also found that there was nothing to talk about during the first meeting. “It was awkward because I was meeting a lot of new people all at once. We didn’t know what we all had in common,” said junior Jane Sevila, a mentor.
However, mentors and mentees claim to have high hopes for their next meeting. “In the future, it’ll be better because we’ll have scheduled activities,” said Sevila.
Members of the board and coordinators of the program, however, said it’s too soon to make any assumptions. “It was the first meeting; it’s not going to be perfect. We have a lot of great ideas for this year, so it’s only going to get better,” said senior Riley Cosgrove, a member of the mentoring board.
Co-coordinators of M&M Ms. Georgia McKain and Ms. Jennifer Baldesare, agreed. “It’s a year-long process. It’s just the beginning right now,” said Ms. McKain. Both counselors said they were aware of the potential “awkwardness” between mentors and mentees.
“With the first meeting, the students are just touching base,” said Ms. Baldesare.
Anything, however, is too soon to tell. Spirits continue to run high.
“Statistics prove that these mentoring programs are successful,” said Ms. Baldesare. She also mentioned that they hoped to hold a “Mentor/Mentee Field Day.”
-Executive News Editor Amirah Ahmad also contributed to this story