Monica Thornton

Monica gains leadership skills as a peer mentor

Monica started to discover her love of mentoring in high school, when she served as captain of the track team. Following her experience, she knew she wanted to help students in college too.

“I’ve always loved mentoring,” she said. “When it came to college, I knew I wanted to invest and help younger people.”

As a freshman, there weren’t a lot of leadership openings, but during her sophomore year, Monica spoke with her adviser, Ann Oldham, who recommend she become a peer mentor. Later that year, Monica received one of five peer mentor positions for the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN).

“I was really excited of course!” she said. “I heard they had a lot of applicants, so I’m grateful I was selected, especially to Ann. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be a peer mentor.”

The following fall semester, Monica started her peer mentor duties. She helped plan events, talked about campus resources, and acted as a reference point for any students in the dietetics major. Although she was a leader, Monica said she loved learning from her mentees.

“For me it’s not like I’m better because of my age,” she said. “I learn from them, and I love seeing where their passions and careers take them.”

After her experience, Monica wants to help future peer mentors by offering some advice.

“Build relationships as fast as you can,” she said. “Be yourself, and get to know each student. The students you meet are incredible.”