Published on October 28, 2021 by Jenée Spencer  
Patrick Evans | Micaiah Collins
Patrick Evans | Micaiah Collins

There is, without a doubt, serious power in connection and collaboration. When we share connection, we can use our skills, talents, and passions to develop others. This has been evident in the successful mentoring partnerships forged within the IMPACT Peer Mentoring Program. IMPACT mentor, Micaiah Collins, and mentee, Patrick Evans, share a bit of their mentoring experience.

How has having a mentor/being a mentor assisted in your personal growth?

Micaiah: Serving as a mentor, formerly an IMPACT mentee, I am enlightened to the power and importance that mentorship provides, particularly in collegiate and personal development. The time I spend weekly with my IMPACT mentees is an opportunity for discussion that not only sets a space for ways I can support them--but that causes me to reflect on my role in empowering others. 

Patrick: Having a mentor has assisted in my personal growth tremendously. It creates a sense of environment, and it is always good to know that there is at least one person you can count on. My mentor has been truly instrumental in my adaptation to life here at Samford University. It is also paramount that you are surrounded by individuals who can pour into you - causing you to be a better you. My mentor has helped me to find out things about myself, while giving me advice on certain things I may not have experienced before. All these things work to not only make me a better Samford student, but a better person overall.

Do you feel that participating in the IMPACT Peer Mentoring Program has helped you feel a sense of belonging among the Samford community?

Micaiah: Yes! Mentee/mentor pairs are intentionally arranged to consider common interests and experiences. This intentionality creates a foundation for discussion and advances the trust-building process to share things that are a little closer to the heart. The IMPACT program exposes individuals to others that they may not have considered connecting with otherwise.

Patrick: Participating in the IMPACT Peer Mentoring Program has absolutely helped me feel a sense of belonging. As a transfer student and commuter, it can be challenging to feel like you belong. IMPACT has made sure that I felt welcomed and appreciated every step of the way. Not only my mentor, but the IMPACT family as a whole works together to be just that - a family. Every advisor, mentor, and mentee I’ve encountered has been open to everything I bring to the table. I have not felt tolerated, but truly accepted by IMPACT.

Share one takeaway from making connections with others that you hope to share with others.

Micaiah: Regardless of the position--mentee or mentor--there is much to be learned. I am amazed constantly by the depth of knowledge and passion my mentees have. Each time we interact, I remind them and myself that the best relationships learn something from each other because no one person has all the answers.

Patrick: There are many takeaways from the IMPACT Peer Mentoring Program. The biggest takeaway for me has been to be open to everyone, because you can learn from anyone. Ironically, my mentor is younger than me. However, he possesses so much wisdom and dedication. I have not once felt intimidated but honored to be in his presence. He has taught me so much already. Having the understanding that you can learn from anyone has helped me along this journey. IMPACT is about bringing different people together to help each other. My experience may be different from others, but we can always learn from different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences.

Each of us has something valuable to contribute to the people with whom we share our community. Your experience, expertise, and support can strengthen connection and empower others. Whether through a formal mentoring program or an informal, yet organic connection, the reciprocal relationship of mentoring supports healthy community and strong connection.

Proverbs 1:5 (ESV) Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, […]

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.