The Edmond Sun

Local News

August 7, 2012

Miss Black UCO a mentor to incoming freshmen

EDMOND — Tiffany Thompson, a University of Central Oklahoma senior, has a driving force to help others because once someone took the time to help her.

“I want to give back because someone gave to me when I started as a freshman at UCO,” Thompson said.

In her job as a paid mentor with the Compass Learning Community at the University of Central Oklahoma she will be able to do just that. She will be working with 48 incoming freshmen, many of whom are the first generation in their family to attend college and are looking for a program that will assist them in succeeding at UCO.

“It is a 24-hour job and I will be meeting with the students assigned to me every Monday,” Thompson said.

She has plans to have programs during the year to help the students become more successful in their first year at UCO. She is also planning a boot camp before school begins.

“I plan on reviewing essay writing, reading, note taking and college algebra,” Thompson said.

“I was active in Compass when I started at UCO and my favorite thing to do is to mentor others,” Thompson said.

Thompson said she will encourage her students to build a relationship with their professors.

“I will tell them to stop by and say hello to their professors during their office hours,” Thompson said.

She said the networking capabilities for the students involved with Compass are fantastic.

“Through the activities they will be involved with they will be able to meet important people on campus,” Thompson said. “Many times these people are unavailable to students until they get involved in their upper level courses.”

She is known as “the queen of scholarships,” Thompson said with a laugh.

“I know all of the ways to apply and one of the things I will be mentoring the students in is essay writing,” Thompson said. “They have to be able to write an essay and write it well to be in competition for scholarship money as well as make good grades in their classes.”

Thompson said she will also encourage the students to be involved in the community by donating service hours.

“I have found the scholarship committees are looking for students with civic engagement,” Thompson said. “They want to know if you are out there investing in other people’s lives.”

She said when she was in the Compass community her peer mentor helped build her confidence.

“She said over and over to me, ‘I believe in you,’” Thompson said. “When I was frustrated and overwhelmed she would say, ‘If you stay in school now you will be able to help your family in the future by getting a degree.’”

Erica Townsend, assistant director of Academic Initiatives for Housing and Dining, said she didn’t realize what a find she had when she hired Thompson.

“She’s confident and capable, but also determined and not afraid to tell personal stories and put herself out there to connect with each person,” Townsend said.

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