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College of Saint Mary's African American mentoring program continues to grow

Posted at 8:32 AM, Aug 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-31 09:32:13-04

Finding a mentor is sometimes tough, but the College of Saint Mary makes it easy for students.

College of Saint Mary Sophomore Elaundra Nichols has met her match in her mentor Rose Payne. 

"She walked in and we clicked.  We had coffee one day and I was like okay, I really love her," said Nichols. 

Last year Nichols, an Occupational Therapy Major, was paired with Payne, a mental health practitioner through the College of Saint Mary's African American mentoring program. 

"The media and other avenues sometimes make it hard to see African American women doing these phenomenal things in the community and giving back," said Nichols. 

"Having someone that is in the community that looks like them and that is successful, I think is important for any student," said Barb Treadway. 

Barb Treadway, a coordinator for the program, says the college established it four years ago at the request of their African American students. 

"I think mentorship is important, so I said of course I will do it," said Dr. Sheritta Strong. 

Dr. Sheritta Strong, an area psychiatrist, did not hesitate when Treadway asked her to mentor a few years ago.  She hopes other black women in our community realize they can have an impact on a young girl's life by giving their time. 

"Just someone who is considering it and can say hey, I am doing what you want to do and whatever questions that you might have, I can guide you," said Dr. Strong. 

Year after year, more and more mentors have been paired with students. 

"I love the connection and relationships that are being made," said Kelly Murphy. 

Kelly Murphy who helps with the program at the college, says it is serving its purpose and wants to watch it continue to grow. 

"Even some former students that have graduated are now interested in being mentors and giving back because the program did help them," said Murphy.