Rosen College’s award-winning Peer Outreach Mentoring Program (POMP), which partners upper-level undergraduate students with their peers looking to enhance their college experience, made high marks again in Spring 2015:
From Spring 2012 to Spring 2015 (not including summers), 94.9% of students who participated in POMP improved their UCF Cumulative GPA with an overall retention rate of 96.8%. The program also attained a 42.5% 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.
Pairing undergraduate students with their peers who have faced difficulties and/or obstacles in the past 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 inspires confidence to believe that anything is possible, said a mentee, who encouraged others to join the program. The benefits go both ways as mentors gain personal satisfaction and growth from the experience of helping others. One mentor credited POMP for teaching how to listen and learn outside the classroom, in addition to honing skills like patience, understanding and time management.
Each semester, students hear presentations and participate in activities that aid in their personal, professional and academic growth. During the Spring 2015 semester, POMP members assisted with a new Rosen College transfer initiative to engage transfer students early on in the process of transitioning to UCF. They visited classrooms at Valencia College and gave testimonials about their journey and experience, in addition to helping plan and execute the first Rosen College Admitted Student Welcome Event. POMP participants also donated their time to worthy causes like Knight-Thon, UCF’s largest, student-run philanthropy, organizing Rosen College’s first ever team.
POMP concluded another successful year with the 3rd Annual Mentorship Ceremony on April 9. Students chose the event’s theme, “Taking Flight,” and Katie Worthington, ’05, a Rosen College graduate and current President/CEO of the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce, was the keynote speaker. Later that evening, senior Brittani James received the Peer Mentor of the Year Award and a $1,000 scholarship, senior Aaron Rozenblat received the Mentee of the Year Award and Jeremy Wilcox, ’07, ’13 was named Alumni Mentor of the Year. Dr. Ian King, a board member for the Learning Institute for Elders (LIFE), was presented a gift and certificate of appreciation for the $500 Competitive Grant that LIFE awarded POMP in Fall 2014. Mr. Don Ratliff, president of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), was also recognized for his organization’s $4,000 donation.