TRiO SSS - Peer Mentors
The Peer Mentoring program is comprised of experienced students who serve as peer mentors to TRiO SSS participants. Peer mentors offer both academic and personal support during students' undergraduate work at Grand Valley. Through continued contact with participants, peer mentors are able to act as peer guides throughout your college tenure. By providing a different perspective, these dedicated students can help you problem solve any obstacle that comes up during your academic journey.
Hawra Al-Howaishy is a senior here at Grand Valley State University. Majoring in advertising and public relations, she hopes to do something with media buying or copyright. She plans to get her bachelors first then go back to get her masters degree. Hawra has been in TRiO SSS since she transferred to GVSU the Fall of 2015. Hawra is excited to be a mentor. She enjoys working with others and she is excited to help students who are just getting started with their college careers.
Elle Bowman is a sophomore at Grand Valley. She is majoring in hospitality with a minor in business, and has a goal of one day becoming an event planner for a sports team. Elle started as a freshman in the TRiO SSS program. She wanted to become a mentor for TRiO to help other students adjust to college life. TRiO has given her the tools (specifically an amazing advisor) and opportunities that have helped her strive towards her career goals. She looks forward to the relationships she will form from being a peer mentor.
Kambriana (Kam) Gates
Kambriana (Kam) has been a part of Trio since high school where she was in the Trio Upward Bound program which helped her along her journey to get her here at GVSU. She is a nursing major and also has a minor in African/African-American Studies. Now going into her third year of college and being a part of the Trio SSS program, the staff here continues to encourage Kam academically and socially. Kam just started her second year as a peer mentor for the program and says “I love that I can encourage the new incoming class to push forward and see the positivity that comes from this community here in Trio. The advisors can also help you set a schedule of the time you have in a day including your free time which I love to spend relaxing, going to new places, and the gym.”
Darwin Harris is a sophomore at Grand Valley State University studying History with an emphasis in Secondary Education. Darwin also has two minors: Political Science and African American Studies. Last year, Darwin participated in Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, a play that focused on police brutality, an issue that is prevalent to today’s society. Darwin is here at GVSU representing East Saint Louis, his hometown. Darwin, 19, is the youngest in his immediate family, having two older sisters who are 22 and 24. He enjoys spending his free time doing the following activities: camping, swimming, shopping, acting, and hanging out with friends. His favorite time of the year is during the Fall season, although his birthday is in the Winter on February 26. His favorite type of movies are Horror films and he plans to become an instructor of History at the high school level for the first couple years following his undergrad and then ultimately become a state representative of either Illinois or Missouri. While teaching, though, he plans to pursue his master’s degree in either Theatre or Political Science at Mizzou or the University of Kentucky.
Tamar Kalanjian is a junior at Grand Valley State University double majoring in Business Administration and Marketing. Tamar has been apart of TRIO SSS for 3 years now. Tamar can relate to TRIO SSS because it has helped her believe that graduating college is possible as a first generation student. She also feels the endless amount of support she receives from her academic advisors and other students in the program. Tamar enjoys working out, cooking, and spending quality time with friends/family. She is grateful for her TRIO SSS family and working as peer mentor to help students be led towards the right path.
Jaedah Pickens was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her wonderful family. She is in her senior year at GVSU studying Psychology with a double minor in Sociology and African/African American Studies. She has dreams of being known in the community as a leader advocating for education. Upon leaving GVSU, she will be attending graduate school, pursuing a degree in either Higher Education or Social Work. She has hopes of helping combat low retention rates among marginalized populations, encouraging student success, and providing safe spaces in college and community settings for everyone. She believes that a leader does not have to have the loudest voice to be in engaged, and that her leadership stems from her ability to lead and listen, while allowing others to take the lead.
Bennie Rambin is currently a senior at Grand Valley State University majoring in Communications. Originally from the city of Detroit, he enjoys many things such as writing and talking. After achieving his Bachelor’s degree, his main goal is to become a talk show host. Benny explains, "I’m looking forward to working for SSS and continuing to learn and grow as an individual. Student Support Services has helped me with many obstacles. I enjoy having that warm and personal connection with the advisors. They make you feel comfortable and at ease. I never came in this office not seeing someone smiling. I’m happy to be working with this program."
Vanessa is a senior at Grand Valley State University. She is majoring in Clinical Lab Science and minoring in Criminal Justice. While attending Grand Valley, Vanessa has also been a member of TRiO Student Support Services. She is a Peer Mentor for the program and relates that "TRiO SSS has been helped me transition into college. It has been wonderful gaining exposure to the different resources available to students. It has also been great to connecting with other students who are in the same situation as I am. I look forward to continue being actively a part of SSS!"