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STEM Near-Peer Mentoring

This year, our group engaged in near-peer mentoring with seniors at Westminster High School (WHS) regarding the transition to college and STEM specific fields. WHS has a program geared towards preparing students interested in STEM fields for the transition to those fields. Our near-peer mentoring (which involves mentoring between individuals close in age) group partnered with this program in order to conduct weekly Zoom meetings between one undergraduate or graduate student and 4-5 high school students.

Some of the major goals of the partnership are to: 1) build upon evidence of near peer mentoring in improving STEM interest, readiness and success in STEM college majors for high school students, particularly those from historically underrepresented backgrounds; 2) provide DU STEM undergraduates a mentoring learning and leadership opportunity such that they could share their experiences in a low-stakes, constructive, curated environment; 3) provide the WHS biomedical sciences students a low stakes learning and engagement mentorship opportunity that integrates with their coursework and career development discussions; and 4) an opportunity for both the DU and WHS students to learn from each other. This year specifically, our group worked to increase participation and interaction between the mentor and mentees in the Zoom environment in order to maximize the success of the previously mentioned goals.