Grassroots mentorship: Support for Indigenous students
WHO: Carla Loewen, University 1 academic advisor, who helped to establish the Promoting Aboriginal Community Together (PACT) program.
HER GOAL: To find a way for first-year Aboriginal students to better connect with each other and the university.
HOW IT WORKS: PACT pairs new Aboriginal students with experienced Aboriginal students, encouraging them to support each other in the university experience. In 2009, 21 students signed up for PACT; by 2013, that number jumped to 78.
IN HER OWN WORDS: “I am so grateful to PACT students for taking the time to share their knowledge,” says Loewen. “I’d like people to know that the Aboriginal student community is making a difference in all they do and are full of positive energy. And, in order to reach even more Aboriginal students, I participate in committees that look at Aboriginal student retention, success, and student programming. One important thing to highlight is that I don’t do any of this alone. Everything I do is in partnership and consultation with the many colleagues and friends I have on campus. Aboriginal student success is a team effort and I am just glad to be a part of it all.”
FUNDERS: University 1, the Aboriginal Student Centre, and the Office of Indigenous Achievement, University of Manitoba