BY DONOVAN MACK
This year’s Powerful Connections at Salisbury University was held from Aug. 19-23 and ended in a bang as the mentees, mentors and coordinators walked away with selfies, smiles and hugs on the last day.
Many students are seen around campus proudly wearing their burgundy t-shirts with “Powerful Connections” written on them with a graphic of three different-colored hands grasping each other.
Powerful Connections is a program put on by Multicultural Student Services that serves as a pre-orientation program for new incoming students at Salisbury University.
The pre-orientation program strongly encourages the participants to become leaders at SU, not only through participating within the program, but also externally through multiple sessions led by current students, alumni and professionals.
A huge part of the program is the mentee/mentor portion.
Each new student is paired with a mentor, although every pairing is not guaranteed for success.
Mentors have previously applied during the spring for this position and are there to guide new students through the program, but also throughout their years at SU. Most mentees and mentors create a great connection throughout the program, which follows them into the future.
Kortney Brothers, senior at SU, has been involved with Powerful Connections since her freshman year and has stayed involved because it has given her the tools for success.
“I stayed involved in Powerful Connections because it has presented me many opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to take advantage of without it,” Brothers said. “It brought me out the little shell I was in and brought me some of the people I am proud to call friends and family.”
The program and department pride themselves on noticing and addressing the importance of making connections early in a student’s college career. These connections can help students greatly after graduating from SU in terms of finding jobs.
According to the Multicultural Student Services page on the SU website, some of the goals of the program are to have “students make connections to upper-class students through peer mentoring, to gain an understanding of academic expectations and social responsibility, and for students to gain an understanding of what the Office of Multicultural Student Services is and what their programs, goals, activities and available resources are.”
Other benefits of the program include connections to faculty and staff, orientation to academic expectations and connections to other students of diverse backgrounds.
Although the program is put on by Multicultural Student Services, Powerful Connections strives to include all races and ethnicities in the program and is not restricted to minority students.
“We bring in students from all backgrounds and with that, we are giving everyone the chance to learn,” Brothers said. “It gives them the chance to develop new skills and bring forward skills they didn’t know they had.”
Brothers also said the program gives students the chance to try new things and express themselves freely.
“I am more confident, and it has definitely brought me more leadership skills.”
But this program is limited to 70 new people a year and does not come cheap. To enroll in Powerful Connections, it will cost you $160.
If you do not wish to pay this, but still want to be involved in Multicultural Student Services, check out their website for upcoming events.