The ACE Scholarship Mentors – In Their Own Words

Graphic Illustration by Milan Fredricks

Every year, students who are within 30 credits of graduating are invited to apply for the CUNY SPS ACE Scholarship. The scholarship provides full tuition until graduation. To be considered, students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, enroll for a minimum of 6 credits, and demonstrate financial need. As part of their award requirements, ACE Scholars mentor newly-admitted undergraduate students and act as ambassadors for the school. To fulfill the duties of the scholarship each recipient writes an essay about their ACE experience. The Kiosk will be publishing these essays each Wednesday.

The following essay is by Kennya DiLegge, who is in the B.S. in Nursing program.


What the ACE Scholarship Meant to Me

Fall 2018 is looking to be my final semester as an ACE Scholar and I am completing the BSN degree in December. As a peer mentor, these last few semesters have been very enriching and I am grateful for all that this experience provided me. I was once a peer mentor and I encourage all incoming students to apply for this program as it provides many benefits, from networking and meeting students of various programs to gathering feedback from other students going through the same challenges.

Creating a peer mentor relationship has been rewarding from a mentee as well as a mentor perspective. This semester I actually continued to communicate with a mentee from the Spring 2018 semester. Our conversations ranged from time management and assignment criteria to future career paths and family planning. Much like my Spring 2018 mentees, the Fall 2018 mentees had questions regarding navigating Blackboard, submitting assignments, viewing webinars, and what services the School provides to students. I feel I was able to efficiently assist the mentees in a timely manner. A couple of issues were beyond my reach of what I could resolve myself, so I gave them the hyperlink to the part of the School website or the phone number to the necessary individuals. IT and financial challenges are two very stressful problems to have at the beginning of the semester, so timely attention to these are vital to a good start. IT problems can cause a delay rippled effect in submitting posts and assignments on time. I always recommend to email the instructors the moment IT problems are encountered as we never know when they will truly be resolved.

Lastly, this semester we had a few opportunities to meet the mentees in-person. I suggest all semesters to provide these opportunities and for the mentees to make every effort to attend, especially for those individuals who are participating in an online program. It allows for the beginning of the creation of a good rapport, and if not, the opportunity to request a change of mentor to one that the mentee is more comfortable with. During this last mentor-mentee meet-up, it happened that a mentee and I had a lot in common and she requested that I continue to be her mentor. The short time frame of interacting with someone face-to-face can have significant and long-term impact in the mentor-mentee relationship.

To the ACE Scholarship and associated staff, to all of my instructors and peer mentors, to all of those who have contributed to my student life – thank you sincerely! I wish each of you the best of luck and continued success!


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