After a year of virtual networking, friendships, and relationship building, the 2020-21 Mentorship Program is coming to a close. Along with the Alumni Advisory Committee (AAC) of Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF), the Mentorship Program empowers DSF Scholars and Alumni to grow professionally while inspiring them to contribute to the greater Denver community through individualized mentorship.
Mentor and mentee pairs enjoyed several remote group events over the course of their year-long commitment to the program, which culminated in an evening celebrating mentors and mentees over a virtual dinner party. Events throughout the year included mentorship development, community building workshops, networking events, and more. Mentor and mentee pairs set their own meeting scheduled and aim to check-in with each other about once a month.
One mentor-mentee pair–DSF Alum Aron Rodriguez and DSF Scholar Nhi Vuong–bonded over their experiences at University of Denver (DU). Both are first-generation Americans and first-generation college students majoring in the business program. We asked Aron and Nhi to share how the DSF Mentorship program helped them grow professionally and personally, especially during the pandemic.
What interested you about the program and why did you become involved?
Aron: I was a mentee before, in a previous cohort, and wanted to pay it forward to other DSF Scholars.
Nhi: I wanted to be involved in the Mentorship program because it exposed me to new people that gave me guidance for my education and career. Throughout this program, I have met amazing people such as my mentor Aron and create relationships.
What interests and experiences do you have in common with your mentee/mentor?
Aron: Not only are Nhi and I interested in the same areas for our careers, we have similar backgrounds and experiences. Both of us are first-generation Americans and first-generation college students. We come from multicultural backgrounds and speak multiple languages.
Nhi: My mentor and I both attended DU and were enrolled in the business program. He majored in accounting while I am majoring in finance. We both took the same core classes, and he has helped me a lot with tips and guidance for my major. Aron is very intelligent and has a passion for learning. It has helped me tremendously this year to learn different things from him.
What did you learn through the Mentorship Program?
Nhi: Throughout this program, I networked with many people and gained a better understanding of attending college and my career. DSF provided me with opportunities to listen to speakers and connect with my mentor to expand on my future goals. A key takeaway that I will use in the future is to always be confident and take risks. DSF and my mentor have encouraged me to apply for internships and helped me set a goal for my education, career, and life.
What was your favorite experience during the Mentorship Program?
Aron: Seeing growth in Nhi was my favorite experience. With my help, she had established three concrete goals in the beginning of our mentorship. In my opinion, they were not easy goals to accomplish. Nhi most definitely went through rough patches in her journey, but luckily, she had me to assure her it’s ok to fail. The goal is to try and try again if we have to. I am beyond proud that she met her goals and mastered a positive mindset.
Nhi: My favorite experience was meeting with other mentees and mentors during our online gatherings. I got to connect with other mentees and listen to their experiences with their mentors. Through these connections, I learned more about the program and the different opportunities I could take.
Are you a DSF Alum or current DSF Scholar seeking a meaningful mentorship experience? Apply for the DSF Mentorship Program online!