After spending endless hours training for the job as a STARS peer mentor during spring quarter at DePaul, I now started my role as a mentor. Some may be asking what does STARS peer mentor program stand for and what is it?

The program STARS stands for "students together are reaching success." This program is meant to serve those who are among the marginalized. The STARS program is housed under the Office of Multicultural Student Success (OMSS). Incoming freshmen and transfer students who identify as one or more of the following are invited to participate in the program: first-generation college students, a family of low income, a student of color, or a student who identifies themselves as part of the LGTBQ community.

During the fall and winter quarter, the students who commit to the program meet biweekly with their group of students and the mentor to discuss how each student is adjusting and serve as a resource. The program also has group outings with their groups.

The admissions office gives the OMSS a list of students who have one symptom of marginalization. Once the list is sent, OMSS arranges a list of students contact information and gives it to the mentor. It's up to the mentor to contact their students about the STARS program and invite them to the STARS kickoff night.

The kickoff night allows each student invited to the program a chance to meet their assigned mentor and other students part of the program. Students also decide whether they want to commit to the program or if they choose not to. The kickoff night happened on September 4, and I had the chance to meet the students I contacted about the program.

I'm excited I got to meet the students who were interested. Even though some students couldn't commit, it was a nice experience getting to do exciting group activities and getting that sense of teamwork back before the quarter kicked off. (Did I mention there was free food?) As a freshman last year, I was invited to be part of the STARS Peer Mentor Program, but I did not commit to the program which is something I really regret. Although I didn't commit, it's bittersweet that I'm not back and still get a chance to be a part of the program, just as a mentor this time around.