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Black Student Success Network launches mentorship program

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Black Student Success Network project team at their October launch. File photo. Steve Cornwell

Connextion aims to provide reliable support for students in their emerging careers

In the New Year, Black Student Success Network (BSSN) will launch a mentoring program where students will be shown the ropes by staff and faculty of George Brown College.

The mentoring program, which is called “Connextion”, aims to facilitate relationships between mentors and mentees to help students articulate their career goals and find success.

“We learned from the research that led to the formation of the BSSN that supportive relationships were very important for black students,” said Neil Price, a founding member of the network and a professor in the community worker program.

When the program launches in February 2017, Price said that students can expect to have access to a reliable mentor.

“Mentees will have someone they can learn from, who they can bounce ideas off of,” said Price who added that he hoped students being mentored would also benefit from their mentor’s network, leading to jobs and internships down the road.

The BSSN was formed in response to disproportionately low rates of retention among black students in the community service programs at the college. In March, Price released a report, On the path to success, which made 11 recommendations to address barriers facing black students. The report also outlined measures to support Black student’s success, including the creation of a mentoring program, a dedicated space, and a pre-college preparation program for black students.

Since its launch the network has been holding weekly tutoring and drop-in sessions, engaging with project partners and recruiting members to the BSSN. According to Price, the network now has over 70 students registered.

Connextion is currently looking for staff and faculty from the George Brown community to apply as mentors for the program. Interested mentors can email blackstudentsuccess@georgebrown.ca for an application form that is due on Jan. 13, 2017.