Inside Track to Success

“If you cannot see where you are going, ask someone who has been there before.”` ~Loren Norris

College is an entirely different world than high school. You are expected to do your own paperwork, register for classes, navigate the campus and the parking, file for financial aid, learn and remember the different sets of expectations for multiple classes. Doing all these new things by yourself can be a daunting experience. Luckily, HFC has a peer to peer mentoring program called Inside Track.
Established five years ago by counselor and teacher Ammie Helling, she took a pre-existing, untitled, small mentorship program that serviced about ten students with only two mentors and turned it into what is now Inside Track. Today, Inside Track services almost 400 students and has 20 mentors. Inside Track is a peer to peer mentoring program that matches second year or higher students with incoming freshmen. Candidates for mentors come from professor recommendations and the honors program. Mentor candidates must have a 2.7 GPA and two professor references. Mentors are trained in the summer, including soft counseling skills training. The program mentees are contacted by their mentor at least once a week via phone, email or text. The mentees can contact their mentor at any time. Mentees mainly come from orientation but any first year student can apply to the program. Mentees are given help with the day to day skills required to be successful in college; from handling financial aid issues to help with finding tutors, mentors can make all the difference to a student who feels overwhelmed by all the new information being slung at them on a day to day basis.

Former mentee, Tony Braggs, Jr. was so inspired by his experience he is now in his second year as a mentor himself. Tony came to school at HFC through a scholarship program, and to make sure he had the support he needed to be successful at HFC, he made the choice to participate in Inside Track. Tony cited the “conversation, motivation and guidance” provided by his peer mentor lead to his success in making the Dean’s list his first year in college. He was so inspired by his experience he is now in his second year as a mentor himself. He said his decision to become a mentor was “…a reflection of not only what my mentor has been to me, but also what the professors and staff at HFC have been to me.” Tony plans to continue after his associates and pursue a career in physical therapy.

Whatever course we take in life, we do not reach our goals alone. Inside Track is providing a unique college experience here at HFC, with an 80% retention rate it is proving to give first year students the best possible start to their college education. If you would like more information on the Inside Track program, it can be found in building A, room 117 in the counseling office or you can email at insidetrack@hfcc.edu

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