Taylor Carter – Staff Writer
Being a student at Clarion University means exploring different options, finding your confidence and putting it back into the university to make Clarion shine as bright as you do. No matter what the goal is, it all starts with you.
With more than 100 student organizations, there should be no problem finding your place to excel. In recent years, the minority student retention rate was decreasing and Clarion University had to find a way to fix it. Minority mentorship programs were established, and support and success has been the outcome. GEMS/RUBIES and Queens Org stepped in to take the challenge.
Queens is a recognized student organization for women of color that holds a mentor program within itself. The females of this program share a special bond with their younger “Sister Queen” to help them gain self-esteem and inspire them to reach their highest goals. Founder of the organization, Traesha Pritchard, started running Queens with just 14 members.
GEMS, which stands for Golden Eagles Men’s Success, and RUBIES, Rise Up Beautiful Intellectual Exceptional Sisters, was brought to Clarion’s campus to raise the minority student retention rate. This program works similar to a big brother, big sister to younger students at Clarion. This student-run program focuses on giving the students resources they need to do better inside and outside of the classroom. President Torron Mollett stated, “There was a big need to actually start a mentoring program to actually help African American men and women because not too many were actually graduating while I was a freshman.”
Each mentor is required to have library hours in order to help the mentees with homework and assignments. Also, the mentors must be knowledgeable about school resources such as financial aid, tutoring and even programs held on campus to help their mentees do their best. in and Outside of the classroom. The programs also offer social support to make adjusting and dealing with different situations as easy as possible on new students.
Since the start of the mentor programs, minority retention rates have risen. Mentees they have expressed how much this program has helped them and they feel they are better prepared for college.
Queens Org applications are available through CU Connect or by contacting Traesha Pritchard. For GEMS or RUBIES, interested students should contact minority student services or Torron Mollett.