11:52 AM

Office of Access and Disability Services Launches Peer Mentor Program through Chart V Grant

Front Row (L to R)-Albertine Payne, Katie Crouch, Ana Martinez Larumbe Back Row (L to R)-Max Pham, Monserrath Aguirre, and Justo GarciaAs part of the $3M U.S. Department of Education Chart V grant, the UST-Houston Office of Access and Disability Services (ADS) launched a peer-mentor program, in collaboration with the Student Success Center, providing essential skills support to students for their success.

“These peer mentors, in collaboration with faculty and staff across campus, provide holistic support to empower students to achieve their academic, career and personal goals,” ADS Director Angie Maxey, MLA ‘05, said. “This additional layer of support helps foster a community of inclusion.”

Justo Garcia Serves as Access Specialist

Joining Maxey’s team is Justo Garcia, who will serve as Access Specialist.

“He is taking the lead on this new initiative in collaboration with the Student Success Center,” Maxey said.  “Justo embodies the spirit of compassion and dedication that defines UST's mission. His commitment to empowering students and developing an inclusive campus environment makes him a valuable resource for UST's academic community.”

Highlights of the peer-mentor program include:

  • The ADS peer mentor program has been designed to offer a personalized and one-on-one approach to student support. When students reach out to the ADS office, they will relate to a peer mentor who specializes in helping individuals with their specific needs.
  •  The program is designed not only to support students with essential skills for success but also to align with our Catholic values of goodness, discipline, knowledge and community.
  • One of the primary roles of peer mentors is to assist students in setting and achieving their academic and personal goals. Each student will work closely with their mentor to outline a roadmap to success, identifying their strengths and areas that require improvement.
  • Peer mentorship programs have proven to be a highly effective way to create a strong support system for students. The mentors are not only equipped to provide guidance but also to be empathetic listeners, offering a shoulder to lean on during challenging times.

Key areas where peer mentors will provide guidance and support:

o    Time Management: Time management is a skill that every student needs to succeed. Peer mentors will help students create effective schedules, set priorities and stay organized.

o    Study Skills: Successful learning strategies, note-taking techniques, and effective study habits will be taught to students by their mentors.

o    Communication: Effective communication is critical in any academic setting. Peer mentors will assist students in developing better communication skills, whether it be in class, during group projects, or while seeking help from professors.

o    Self-Advocacy: Self-advocacy is an invaluable skill, especially for students with disabilities. Peer mentors will empower students to confidently express their needs and seek appropriate accommodations when necessary.

The ADS office is located on the lower level of the Doherty Library, Room B03.