Jenny Nguyen

Jenny Nguyen prepares to be a teacher through Connect 4 experience

Transferring from Des Moines Area Community College to Iowa State University before her junior year, Jenny didn’t know what to expect. With the help of her cousin, who attended Iowa State, Jenny found Connect 4 — Connect 4 is a multicultural club for first-year students of color.

“You get to choose your mentor, which is really nice,” Jenny said. “We had the same major, so she taught me a lot.”

As a mentee, Jenny learned about the different resources on campus, from what each building offered to financial aid and resume help. Every two weeks, Jenny said students receive an email informing them of when and where the next meeting is along with what the topic will be. As a bonus, Jenny said food is provided at every meeting.

After her mentor taught her what all their program had to offer and expanded Jenny’s knowledge of the university, Jenny decided she wanted to help new students in the same way. Being a mentor would also develop skills Jenny could use for her elementary education major later in the classroom.

“With my major, you want to be a leader,” she said. “Being a mentor, I have gained a lot of leadership skills and it’s just really rewarding helping someone.”

On top of leadership skills, Jenny said she also knows how to better manage her time. Between her own schoolwork, she has time to make time for her mentee when they need help. Jenny values the skills she has learned and the relationships she has made through Connect 4.

Jenny wants other students to know they can join Connect 4 at any point in the semester.

“Don’t be shy,” she said. “Don’t feel like you’re alone. There’s lots of help. You just have to ask for it.”