Volunteer Connection helps both the volunteer and the people he or she is helping. However, there are few major changes coming to the program.
“The idea of the Volunteer Connection was first conceived by BYU-Idaho President Kim Clark in 2010,” according to the Volunteer Connection website. “Since that time the goal has been to provide as many meaningful volunteer opportunities for BYU-Idaho students as possible. Students now have one place they can turn for academic volunteering.”
Kaitlyn Jameson, a junior studying business management, said one of the new programs coming to Volunteer Connection is Peer Mentoring.
“We are launching a new program in the fall that’s really exciting,” Jameson said. “It is a piloted program, so it is smaller, but it’s to help new freshmen. It will help the incoming freshman face all the challenges that come with going to college, so anything from academics to just living and answering all the questions they might have.”
Jameson said Peer Mentoring will provide freshmen with information about their degree and help them figure out if their major is right for them.
She said each mentor assigned will be from the specific college the student is currently in.
She said getting to talk to someone helps a great deal.
She said it will also help students figure out their classes and even find recommended teachers.
“This is the most exciting time of their life and you’re there helping them fulfill their potential,” Jameson said. “It helps students quickly find where they belong.”
Jameson said that not only will it helps students from the United States, but also those who are coming from around the world.
“A lot of the times you don’t have a big sister or big brother to show you the ropes, and so it’s nice to have someone fill that role,” Jameson said.
She said it really helps the students.
“Peer Mentoring will stick with you through the entire semester,” Jameson said.
Jameson said they are hiring seven students from each college who will then each pick 10 people they deem fit for being a part of the Peer Mentoring Program.
“All you’re doing is being someone’s friend, looking out for them, and helping them get where they need to be,” Jameson said.
Jameson said they will be starting with 400 freshmen in the program.
“We are hoping that the program will be solidified enough by Winter 2016 that all incoming freshmen will have a Peer Mentor,” Jameson said.
Jameson said a new lab coming in the fall is the International Drop-in Lab.
“This lab is going to be a drop-in lab where International students can come and get help,” Jameson said.
She said students need somewhere to turn in terms of both academic help and cultural help, which she said is the goal of the International Drop-in Lab.
Jameson said the lab will be a hybrid; the tutors will help in terms of academics and the mentors will help in terms of culture.
Jameson said the location of Volunteer Connection will also be changing.