Haley Clifton

Haley Clifton grows as a peer mentor

As a freshman in the kinesiology department, it was required for Haley to take kinesiology 253, which doubles as the orientation and learning community class. During this class, Haley was assigned a peer mentor.

“[As a first generation student] I had no idea what college was like,” she said. “I didn’t know the right decision or who to go to. My peer mentor really helped me figure all that out.”

After being a part of the learning community as a freshman or transfer student, the opportunity to be a peer mentor is given.

“I really liked my peer mentor,” said Haley. “He helped me so much, and I just thought if I could help someone as much as he helped me that would be awesome.”

Haley went through the application process and became a peer mentor during her junior year. By her senior year, she was the head peer mentor for the freshman learning community.

Being a part of the peer mentor program isn’t all studying and teaching, however. Haley said she has lead group fitness classes for the students, went bowling, and gone to group dinners.

“Seeing the freshman grow and change is really rewarding,” said Haley.

Not only does being a peer mentor bring satisfaction of helping others succeed, Haley said she has gained a lot of opportunities and connections she probably wouldn’t have otherwise made.

“Now, I have so many leadership skills, and future employers like to see someone who is capable of helping others grow and expand their knowledge,” said Haley.

She encourages students who want to become a peer mentor to start immersing themselves in a variety of activities right away.

“Be involved as much as you can, join clubs and volunteer,” said Haley. “[The Community adviser] really likes to see involvement. Just put yourself out there.”