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Students Share Insights on Mentorship and Support

Recently, Doyon Foundation and the Doyon Foundation Alumni Association conducted a student survey to determine how the association can more effectively mentor and support our students. All of the respondents were entered in a drawing for an iPod shuffle, which went to student Janna Gurtler – congratulations, Janna!

A total of 82 students responded to the survey, providing valuable input on questions such as “What does mentorship mean?” “What does student support mean?” “What type of support is most important to you?” And “What type of support would you personally like the alumni association to provide?”

We learned our students see a mentor as someone “who helps you out when you need it,” “to learn from,” “who has knowledge and experience to guide,” “you can count on to support you with big decisions,” “who cares about you and what you’re doing. He/she guides and gives you advice or just listens,” “that wants you to succeed just as they have, and wants the best for you,” and “a person I look up to personally and professionally. A person that has my respect, and a person that cares about my future.”

Others described mentorship as “when someone gives you guidance to get through something you couldn’t do by yourself,” “leadership,” “advising a person in a certain direction, but not telling them exactly what to do,” and “it’s very much like the counsel we get from our elders.”

We heard our students think of student support as “anything that will help me improve my schooling,” “someone to talk to,” “somewhere a student can go to for help,” “just being there and having students know they have places to turn,” “aiding the student when they are in need of knowledge about college, career and finance choices,” “emotional and financial contributions,” “support in all areas of the student’s life,” “when students help one another,” “resources, both financial and academic,” and “emotional support…encouragement..acknowledgement of our accomplishments…financial help.”

We also found many of our students enjoy student gatherings (especially gatherings with food!) and that those sorts of events help with homesickness. However, many students have a hard time fitting gatherings into their busy schedules.

Others would like events in areas closer to where they live. These are just a sampling of the many wonderful responses we received, and I’d like to thank all of our students for taking the time to participate in this important survey. Armed with your insights, we will move forward, continuing to grow and improve the services and support we offer – all in an effort to help you succeed in achieving your dreams.

- Sharon McConnell Doyon Foundation Executive Director