The Middle Eastern Mentoring Program (MEMP) was established in 2008 as a program under the Office of Dean of Students and the Middle Eastern Leadership Council. Every year, the program grows more and more, and our influence as mentors continues to grow as well. We were established as a means to provide incoming first-year and transfer students with a Middle Eastern background a support system that aims to ease the transition into the University of Virginia.
It is essential for everyone to have a support system in place. Meeting people, building a community, and learning from others’ experiences helps in learning about one’s own development. A mentor is an experienced person who provides information, advice, support, and encouragement to a less experienced person, often leading and guiding by example of his/her success in an area. A mentor is available, respectful of confidentiality, committed, and a valuable resource to their mentee. The Middle Eastern Mentoring Program recognizes the importance of trust and unity within a community, and works to ensure this environment is always in effect at the University of Virginia.
Goals of the Program
- Social – Meet people. Build Community. Have fun!
- Functional – Provide support and access with navigation of UVa’s systems
- Community Strengthening – Network within group and connect members beyond ourselves.
A mentee is any incoming student who identifies as Middle Eastern/North African/Central Asian. All first year and transfer students are invited to the program the summer before they matriculate to UVA. Anyone who is a new incoming student and wishes to be involved may contact the Assistant Director, Marc Paulo Guzman (firstname.lastname@example.org).