A mentor is someone who guides you through your struggles, maintains a positive relationship and offers advice on certain situations in your life. Anyone transitioning into the University of Connecticut can greatly benefit from obtaining a mentor. One such program is the Asiantation Mentoring Program, or AMP, an award-winning peer education program that assists incoming Asian-American students in transitioning into college.
“AMP is the family to me that I never thought I would find at UConn. I have made countless friends through this program, and every day, I am constantly able to meet new people that have their own special, individual story,” Megha Patel, coordinator of the AMP program and eighth-semester molecular and cell biology major, said.
The University named Asiantation UConn's Program of the Year 2015 at the Student Life Awards.
“We are truly humbled and thankful for this,” Patel said at the time.
Patel coordinates the program with sixth-semester human resources management major May La. The way that the program works is through a system where incoming students are paired with current students. Continuing students are there to assist the new students with any difficulties they may have in transitioning into campus life.
The program itself hosts various events throughout the year aimed at helping new students focus on academic success, personal growth and social development. Students within the program have various opportunities to grow, learn and thrive.
“Without a doubt, AMP has been the most rewarding program I have ever taken part in. I owe all my success as a college student to UConn’s Asian American Cultural Center (AsACC), which houses my pride and joy programs, AMP and China Care,” La said.
AMP offers interactive workshops once a month at the Asian American Cultural Center. These workshops focus on addressing and discussing contemporary Asian American issues and, of course, issues college students face on a daily basis.
The group also focuses on members’ personal and cultural identity, as well as strategies for success and mental health. When asked how AMP has helped them develop as people, the coordinators spoke about how the program has given them a new appreciation for their culture.
“AMP has challenged me to appreciate my identity as an Indian American, and to reflect upon and educate myself on what it means to be an Asian American, and the issues affecting our community,” Patel said. It has allowed me to understand the importance of cultural competency and sensitivity.”
Patel and La stressed the importance of the community that they have found through the program.
“I have found a community of people here who have supported me through every single decision I have made, and ultimately, the respect I have towards these individuals is what motivates me to continue improving myself,” La said.
Patel also argued that AMP plays a major role in the lives of members.
“AMP is here for you to help you have the best college experience possible, academically, personally, and professionally,” Patel said. “We want to make sure that when you walk out of here, you won’t just have a degree in your hand, you’ll have the necessary skills and characteristics to become a successful, contributing member of society.”
To hear some of the program’s participants tell it, AMP is a great experience for all participants. Nurul Sauffian, a second semester student still deciding on her major, reflected on how AMP has impacted her transition into college life.
“AMP helped me so much. I was lucky to have a mentor who could teach me the ways of being a UConn Husky. Through the program, I became comfortable and adjusted well,” Sauffian said.
Sauffian said the program helped her expand her social circles and make the most out of her first semester.
“I made wonderful friends and had amazing experiences. I don’t think I’d be able to have this much fun without AMP,” Sauffian said.
May La argued that the program benefitted all participants, and encouraged anyone interested to join the group.
“If you are to take just one thing from this, I hope it is understood that I take pride in what I represent here at UConn.” La said. “If you have not yet found something that you take pride in, then I encourage you to leave your comfort zone…I promise you, you will not regret it."
Kharl Reynado s a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.