Mentoring: What it means to NGU students

Devan Trout, staff writer

 Resident Assistant and elementary education FYE mentor, Ashli Livingston (right) mentors one of her residents, Emma Houston (left).

Resident Assistant and elementary education FYE mentor, Ashli Livingston (right) mentors one of her residents, Emma Houston (left).

A mentor is someone who inspires people to achieve and helps them conquer the goals or tasks that have been placed before them.

“I would define mentorship as a situation when you have someone who is more experienced, a few years down the road, who has been in situations you’re going through and will walk through that with you and give you advice from their experiences,” said Joseph Bulsa.

When asked to define mentorship Matthew Burkholder said, “Looking over somebody and helping them to stay on the right path, to serve them and help them with anything they need.”

At North Greenville University, mentorship is considered a crucial part of adjustment for new students and a basic part of the school’s curriculum.

Lisa VanRiper, honors program director, said, “We choose upperclassmen who have already finished the first year and we ask them if they would walk alongside this person in sort of a partnership and a friendship for the purpose of sharing your insights and to encourage and assist the person if they get in trouble.”

NGU requires that students attend either First Year Experience or the Freshmen Honors Seminar. In each class there is an assigned mentor who volunteers to show the students around the school or answer questions about their major.

Bulsa said, “I’ve been a mentor to several freshman that I met last semester. I just take the time to talk with them about how their day is going and give them advice about studying. I help them study and answer questions about cultural events -- all the little things that I didn’t know as a freshman.”

A mentor does not necessarily have to be someone from the university. A mentor can be anyone who has spoken truth into your life like someone from home or a family member.

When asked who his mentor was, Burkholder said, “My dad just raised me to work my hands to the bone every day and to just give it all. I look up to that a lot and so that’s what I look forward to in my life.”