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View From The Hill: PNC Mentoring by Design project pairs professionals with students to offer guidance, support and career preparation

Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 5:37 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - A virtual mentoring program within WKU’s Intercultural Student Engagement Center is giving students a big leg up on being successful after graduation.

PNC Bank’s Mentoring By Design program emphasizes career preparation by pairing professionals with college students.

“I feel like I bring out the academic part with her and she brings out the social part within me.”

Juniors Nia Brown and Armani Adams are roommates at WKU.

They also were chosen to participate in the PNC Mentoring by Design program.

“It was really great. I’m glad I got the opportunity to do it. You know being a nursing major, it’s not something that’s within our classes and courses.”

In the program, twenty PNC professionals serve as mentors to more than two dozen WKU students of color to facilitate career preparation.

Topics include financial literacy and personal development.

“For lack of a better description, of trying to create a scaffolding around these very special young men and women to make sure the experience they have at the university is a successful one. Because they’ve done all the hard work, they’ve done all the preparatory work, all the discipline, the grades, it’s almost kind of up to the community to say hey let’s make sure you make it out the other side.”

Armani is an exercise science major with plans to attend physical therapy school.

She says she had an instant connection with her mentor.

“She just kind of motivated me and inspired me in different types of ways. Like I felt like she was a second mom even though I’ve never seen her in person, face to face, but just, I liked how she was very open- minded and she also could help me help myself I guess you could say.”

The pandemic may have prevented Mentoring by Design from happening in person, but that doesn’t mean the virtual interactions won’t have a huge impact on these students’ lives after they leave WKU.

“One big thing I took away from it was the importance of saving for the future, so we talked a lot about having a retirement fund.”

“We really believe in the power of encouragement and demonstrating care because at the end of the day that’s really what counts, no matter what we do in life.”

The project began last fall semester and includes eight thirty minute sessions for the students involved.

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