Rosen College’s award-winning Peer Outreach Mentoring Program (POMP) held its Fourth Annual Mentorship Ceremony on Friday, April 22. During the ceremony, senior Ryan Burke was honored with the Peer Mentor of the Year Award and a $1,000 scholarship. Senior Andre Forrest received the Mentee of the Year Award and an automatic promotion to the peer mentor position in the Fall 2016 term. In addition, Allyson Smith, ‘09 and Samantha Westley, ‘13 received the Alumni Mentor of the Year award.
The event’s theme was “The Grand Revealing” to symbolize the relationships and support system fostered within the program. Deborah Weissberg, an instructor at Rosen College, served as the evening’s keynote speaker and former POMP member and CEO of BlurtBox, Julien Meyer, ‘14, gave closing remarks.
POMP, which pairs upper-level undergraduate students with peers who are looking to enhance their college experience, continued its record of outstanding academic results in Fall 2015:
From Spring 2012 to Fall 2015 (not including summers), 95 percent of students who participated in POMP improved their UCF cumulative GPA with an overall retention rate of 97.4 percent. The program also attained a 47 percent overall success rate in helping students who were on academic probation obtain good standing by the end of the term in which they participated in the program.
When POMP began in Fall 2011, it started with a group of 11 members. It has since more than quadrupled its membership to 61 as of Spring 2016. Giving mentees an opportunity to lead and eventually become peer mentors has proven to be a winning formula and bi-weekly meetings keep all participants engaged throughout the process. The regular interaction also builds relationships that help foster a support system between the mentors and mentees, which has been critical to the program’s success. POMP’s slogan is “Partnering to reveal the hospitality leader within” and over the years, the mentoring program has truly transformed into a leadership program.
Each semester, students hear presentations and participate in activities that aid in their personal, professional and academic growth. During the Spring 2016 semester, POMP members volunteered at the National Academic Advising Association Region 4 Conference. This event provided an opportunity to practice their public speaking skills, gain experience in conference planning and exposed them to academic advising at the university level.
In 2014, POMP helped form the first Rosen College Knight-Thon team. Knight-Thon is UCF’s largest, student-run philanthropy benefiting the Greater Orlando Children’s Miracle Network. In its first year, the team was comprised of three POMP members and raised about $2,000. This year, nine POMP members participated and the team of 10 raised about $7,000, earning them the Rising Knight Award for the highest percentage increase in fundraising.
For more information about joining Rosen College’s Peer Outreach Mentoring Program as a mentor or mentee, please contact Vanessa Cogswell.