Page 1

Issue 3

Jan - Feb

2013

Peer Mentor

LATEST NEWS FROM THE PEER MENTOR COMMUNITY

focus Alejo is a Castro Valley native who grad-

In Defense of the Imperfect What imperfection, you might ask?

Of course nothing is perfect, but it may still be an attentiongrabber to bluntly say that a program consisting of dozens of hard-working students that claims the alliance of dozens of hard-working faculty is imperfect. But I'm not writing this to vent frustration, nor to give constructive criticism. Certainly I flatter myself to think I have the ear of people who have it in their power to right any structural wrongs within the peer mentor program.

Only then will the prefrontal cortex complete its development and become the seat of consciousness for a complete and mature adult who is ready for the bumpy ride of life. This is the root of the clichĂŠ that there is no substitute for experience.

I was asked what I look for in a student when recruiting for the peer mentor program. The truth is I don't really try to single out what students would be "better" peer mentors. Every The title of my article is carefully chosen. The peer student has something to offer, and whether they mentor program is imperfect, and I defend it for are able to rise to the calling of a peer mentor what it is. My claim that the peer mentor program is depends entirely on how willing they are to set imperfect stems from my belief that a program is aside their emotions of the moment for a longmerely a collection of people, and people are imper- term payoff. Certainly some students are more fect. Certainly a collection of people could compen- disciplined than others, and would have an easier sate for each others' flaws, but that still doesn't cre- time making it through leadership class, but does ate perfection. So why do I defend this imperfecthat make them a better peer mentor? Students tion? Each student who comes into the peer mentor who have struggled more may have more to program enters as an incomplete, undefined young offer. Life is a journey, and having experienced person who has not fully found their voice and is more different things prepares you to be recepstill unsure of how to relate to other people in a ma- tive to the journeys of other people. ture fashion. An amalgamation of these young peoIsn't that the true purpose of the peer mentor ple, no matter how carefully and expertly guided they may be, is prone to imperfections of every kind. program? To have a battalion of students ready to be accepting of the journeys of Yet, I ask one simple question: how else will they other people? To have students who can, learn? despite their flaws, set aside their own feelThe prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain right ings to listen to the feelings of others? The behind the forehead that makes decisions. It can world is a much better place with these imeasily be overwhelmed by emotions bubbling up perfect people journeying to find themfrom the limbic system in the heat of the moment, selves, and in the process, helping a few but over time it develops the capacity to step back other people find themselves as well. I fully from these disruptive signals and make a rational support every peer mentor's journey individdecision despite one's feelings. This process is ually and I support the peer mentor program not automatic; it must be earned. The best way to as a whole, no matter how imperfect it may train the prefrontal cortex is to subject it to real be. situations with real, far-reaching consequences.

uated in 2010 with a Masters degree in Biology from CSUEB. He has been teaching GS for five years and is also a lecturer in the Biology department. In what little spare time he has, he teaches martial arts and tutors organic chemistry for free, just to stay physically and mentally in shape.

“Every student has something to offer, and whether they are able to rise to the calling of a peer mentor depends entirely on how willing they are to set aside their emotions of the moment for a long-term payoff.� Alejo Enriquez


Diversity in the Classroom Throughout the months of January and February, General Studies classes begin to discuss diversity. Not just diversity throughout the world but diversity amongst CSUEB students and the Bay Area.

the many pieces of one’s life impact the way each individual interacts with themselves and the people around them. If you want to learn more about diversity, visit the Diversity here at CSUEB at the New Union 1st floor.

This is an eye opening experience in understanding the many cultural, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds that our students come from. It is an opportunity to understand how

Below is also a list of events the Diversity Center has coming up! To learn more details about the events visit Diversity Center CSUEB on Facebook!

Stimulate Your Mind: Abortion Tuesday, Feb. 5th, 2013 @ 4pm ASI Diversity Center PASA of CSUEB Presents: Alibata Workshop Tuesday, Feb. 5th, 2013 @ 7pm Theater class 294 upstairs Beyond the Chalk: Dressing as a Culture Tuesday, Feb. 12th, 2013 @2pm ASI Diversity Center Queerfest is introducing the second annual Quoncert! Tuesday, Feb. 12th, 2013 @ 7pm MPR in New Union Queer Ally Training Wednesday, Feb. 13th, 2013 @ 4pm6pm

ASI Diversity Center Beyond the Chalk: Philosophy of Marriage Wednesday, Feb. 13th, 2013 @ 4pm6pm ASI Diversity Center The Tunnel of Oppression Will be open: Tuesday, 2/19 11am-6pm Wednesday 2/20 9am-5pm Thursday 2/21 9am-2pm Stimulate Your Mind: Mental Illness Tuesday, Feb.19th,2013 @ 4pm ASI Diversity Center

Valentine’s Day Event Come Join the Peer Mentors in celebrating Valentine's Day with your own Mock Weddings in room UU 102. Valentine's Grams will also be available in the Peer Mentor Office. Grams and Weddings $3 10am- 3pm

Come to Karaoke Night! Hosted by CSUEB's Peer Mentor Club! Friday, February 15, 2013 Karaoke Night! 5:308:30pm Where you can duel it out to win a championship belt for your General Studies class! GS instructors will be in attendance so come see your instructor sing their hearts out! This is a free event, come join in some friendly fun competition. Everyone is welcomed! Especially if are a freshmen!


Persistence My Journey Through Mentoring Mark Salvador

My name is Mark Salvador and I am I’m going to say my goodbyes to everya Peer Mentor although I’m not officially one involved in the program when my attending school this quarter. Being a GS instructor has informed me that I peer mentor has been a blast, it has defi- could still continue as a peer mentor. nitely impacted my life. I was very thankful for the “The opportunity of chance to continue so I The program has providhelping/inspiring ed me with a supportive took it. I continued becommunity and count- someone and having a cause I’ve come this far less opportunities for me great learning experience with my class, instructor, to succeed. The reason peers, and the whole prowith the program is more that I am not attending gram to just abandon them important to me.” school this quarter is bewhen I know I can still concause I needed to get my tinue. I am going to have to financial situation in order. I already as- make a little sacrifice here and there but I sumed that I wasn’t going to be able to can manage through it. The opportunity continue because it is a student position of helping/inspiring someone and having and I needed to focus more on work and a great learning experience with the promy family. This has already happened gram is more important to me. It is a before when other peer mentors were great feeling for us peer mentors to know not able to continue because of other that we are doing something special for commitments and/or financial problems our classes, peers, GS instructors, the so there was no shame on that. I was program, and the whole school. We live definitely disheartened when I thought I for it! wasn’t going to be able to continue; but sometimes we have to do what we have to do. At the time, I was thinking how


Peer Mentor Profiles LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MENTORS AS THEY ANSWER THIS MONTH’S PROFILE QUESTIONS...

Where are you from? and what's your major? I'm from Hollister, CA (Unrelated to the clothing store!) and my major is Business Administration with an option in Economics. I also recently decided to minor in journalism. Why did you decide to join the program? I decided to join the program because my high school never offered a program like it and I was intrigued that it was largely student run. Knowing what you know now, what's an advice you would give your freshman self? If I could talk to my freshman self, I would tell him to study harder and to get a tan. Words of wisdom for freshmen. My word of wisdom to freshman would be to go to as many classes as possible and to get more sleep. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? In 10 years I hope to be a part of a career that I love and that supports a comfortable lifestyle, while also being able to let me travel internationally. Whom do you look up to? Why? I look up to my grandparents because they spent their younger years working hard, but are now able to travel to and experience parts of the world that some only dream of.

K E v I N

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get? If I could have an endless supply of any food, it would have to be double stuff peanut butter Oreos (and an equally endless supply of milk!) Name a song that's included in the soundtrack of your life. Someday by The Strokes. Or really anything by The Strokes. I love The Strokes! But this song, in particular, seems to be the easiest to relate to for me. One talent you're proud of. I'm a Certified Scuba Diver. Even though it doesn't necessarily take a lot of skill, it still requires a lot of determination and focus. Especially if you have a fear of open water or claustrophobia, but the memories I've made doing it is worth it. Here's a plane ticket, where will it take you? If I had a plane ticket to any part of the world, I'd want to go to Belize, in Central America. My parents lived there for 13 years, and I lived there for 3 years, but don't remember it at all. From what I've seen in photos and what my parents tell me, it's an amazing place to be.


Peer Mentor Profiles LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MENTORS AS THEY ANSWER THIS MONTH’S PROFILE QUESTIONS...

Where are you from? and what's your major? I am from San Leandro and I'm majoring in biology with a minor in jazz piano. Why did you decide to join the program? I wanted to join the program to help freshmen adjust to college life. I know it's a rough transition and I love the feeling of making someone's day. Knowing what you know now, what's an advice you would give your freshman self? I would advise my freshman self to plan sufficient time to study and practice.

MARIAH

Words of wisdom for freshmen. Freshmen 15 is real. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? 10 years from now, I see myself working as an optometrist in the bay area and starting a family.

Whom do you look up to? Why? I look up to my friend, David, because of his determination and focus. He puts a lot of time into his studies and puts God, friends, and family before himself. He is whole hearted and always optimistic. If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get? If I had an endless supply of any food, I would have nachos for days. Name a song that's included in the soundtrack of your life. Today my life begins- Bruno Mars. My friend played this song for me in my 18th birthday slideshow. It holds a lot of meaning and symbolizes that I'm getting older and I need to live life. One talent you're proud of. I'm proud of playing piano. I've been playing for 13 years now and love learning new things every day. Here's a plane ticket, where will it take you? I would love to visit France because I would like to try their cuisine and see the Eiffel Tower.


Peer Mentor Profiles LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MENTORS AS THEY ANSWER THIS MONTH’S PROFILE QUESTIONS...

Where are you from? and what's your major? I’m from Fremont and my major is psychology. Why did you decide to join the program? I decided to join the program because I love interacting with others and helping out. Knowing what you know now, what's an advice you would give your freshman self? The advice I would give my freshman self is to be happier with where I am in life and worry less about the future. Words of wisdom for freshmen. GET YOUR WORK DONE! Don't be lazy. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? Ten years from now, I see myself as a psychology professor, participating in human rights activism as on the side. Whom do you look up to? Why? I look up to my fiance, who is in the NGO scene and teaches technology for the use of human rights. I look up to him because he has dedicated his work to helping others with the skills he has, and I want to do the same. If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get? If I could have an endless supply of food, I would get sushi (most likely from Nara Sushi in San Francisco). Name a song that's included in the soundtrack of your life. A song in the soundtrack of my life is "All Around Me" by Flyleaf. One talent you're proud of. One talent I am proud of is the fact that I can do decent henna designs! Here's a plane ticket, where will it take you? If I could go anywhere with a plane ticket, I would chose Iraq because there are historical places there that I would love to visit.

KISAE


Peer Mentor Profiles LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MENTORS AS THEY ANSWER THIS MONTH’S PROFILE QUESTIONS...

Where are you from? and what's your major? I'm from southern California (OC). My major is Kinesiology with an option in Therapeutic Studies.

k r I S T I N a

Why did you decide to join the program? I decided to join this program, because I want to encourage students to strive to be all that they can and allow themselves to be; socially and academically. I also enjoy helping others to the best of my ability, experience, and training. The best feeling is to watch those after us take the next big step into life and into a higher education. Knowing what you know now, what's an advice you would give your freshman self? The best advice I could give a freshman is, manage your time! Know your limits and keep your goals in view, always. Words of wisdom for freshmen. "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take them." If you fear failure and making mistakes, you'll never discover what your true potential is. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? 10 years from now, I hope to see myself already having years of experience in athletic training and after grad school, advance as a physical therapist for athletes and elders.

Whom do you look up to? Why? I truly look up to each of my parents. Because of their planning, consideration, and unconditional love and support, I have the opportunity to be at a university so that I can pursue my dream career and maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get? If I could have an endless supply of any food, it would probably be mashed potatoes and my dad's secret recipe of gravy. Family recipes are the best! Name a song that's included in the soundtrack of your life. A song that would be in the soundtrack of my life is "No One" By Alicia Keys. These lyrics helped me cope with a major loss in my life. One talent you're proud of. One talent that I'm proud of is that I'm a good writer. And I can crank out essays like no other! Here's a plane ticket, where will it take you? This plane ticket would definitely take me to Egypt. Ever since I was a little girl, I've been fascinated with the culture and its people. That would be a trip of a lifetime for me.


Peer Mentor Profiles LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MENTORS AS THEY ANSWER THIS MONTH’S PROFILE QUESTIONS...

Where are you from? and what's your major? I'm from Los Angeles. My major is Psychology with a minor in history Why did you decide to join the program? I decided to join the PM program because I've done a similar program like this in high school so I know that it's easier to get motivated about school or academics if its coming from a fellow student. Knowing what you know now, what's an advice you would give your freshman self? Get GS done with now. You don't want to be a senior and have GS holding you back. Words of wisdom for freshmen. Try and get involve sooner! Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? In 10 years I'm probably going to be living in New York working on getting my PhD Whom do you look up to? Why? I look up to Medusa. I know that's a little odd! But people fear her, they don't know her story. If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get? Ramen noodles. I've learned to really like them. Name a song that's included in the soundtrack of your life. Viva La Vida. It really helped me through a difficult time in my life. One talent you're proud of. I honestly don't think I have a hidden talent. I've sang chorus since I was 5, but you will never catch me busting out a tune! Here's a plane ticket, where will it take you? Switzerland. I don't want to get caught in the next world war.

MICHELLE

Peer Mentor Focus Issue No. 3  

Latest news from the peer mentor community