• Mentors’ perceptions of a university–school partnership through a student African American mentoring initiative

      Gilman, Amanda
      The participants in this study were 10 African American male college mentors at Indiana State University who participated in the Indiana State University Student African American Male Mentor Program, one school counselor, and two members of the Student African American Brotherhood administration. The study examined potential benefits to mentors, such as an enhanced feeling of connection and motivation, alleviation of feelings of alienation or isolation, counteracting of negative peer impact, and increased attachment to the university. All participants took part in semi-structured interviews and three mentors took part in a focus group. Grounded theory was used to analyze the data and create a description of the experiences and perceptions of the mentors. Several themes emerged from the data collected. The findings were that being a mentor held significant personal meaning for the mentors. Being a mentor did provide the mentors with a sense of belonging to the university. Mentoring also served to help the mentors stand out as role models and helped them create connections to campus leaders. Sharing experiences and making connections with those that were mentored was a valuable experience for the mentors. Black men’s issues, such as lacking role models, feeling stuck and feeling excluded, and acting White, were themes that were discussed extensively by the mentors. Overall, the participants in this study used their role as mentor to serve the younger generation of African American men they were mentoring. The young African American mentors in this study were not hindered by the stereotypes and negative expectations that have historically plagued them.