15FTCC mentorThe Mighty Male Mentoring Program is a goaloriented program designed to support the educational and professional aspirations of minority males (also known as mentees) at Fayetteville Technical Community College. The 3M Program seeks to increase completion of developmental and curriculum courses, retention, graduation rates and rates of transfer to a UNC four-year institution. To accomplish this, the program increases exposure to academic and financial aid advising and to educational, professional and civic opportunities.

It’s uncontroverted that minority males face many personal challenges and obstacles when it comes to college education program admittance, financial resources, job skills, job placement, stereotypes, low grade point averages, low Accuplacer test scores and a sense of future direction, to name a few. This is where the 3M Program steps in with mentors and academic advising.

Advising students includes bimonthly meetings that identify some of the challenges and obstacles mentioned above in order to improve students’ knowledge and decision-making skills as well as to increase awareness and identify opportunities for active engagement. The design of bimonthly meetings also helps to increase students’ team building, communication and leadership skills.

Mentoring students involves developing a more personal, one-on-one relationship between student and advisor/mentor. Some of the mentor’s duties include coaching students on a particular skill, facilitating growth by sharing knowledge and challenging students to take risks and move beyond their comfort zone. Regular contact — at least twice a month — allows students to bond and identify with their mentor.

The 3M Program is more than just worthwhile — it’s a game changer.  That’s because its benefits are permanent. By matching students who have demonstrated a desire to succeed with dedicated faculty and staff members who serve as mentors, relationships are forged that create win-win situations.  Not only do the mentees reap tremendous rewards, but also the mentors benefit greatly.

The process begins with potential mentees filling out an application that memorializes their commitment to improve both as students and as male members of their communities. Upon acceptance, the mentees complete a contract with their mentors wherein they attest to a plan of action. Mentors are pre-screened to identify their areas of expertise and level of commitment. The bimonthly plenary meetings ensure program participants stay motivated and augment any individual meetings between mentor and mentee. In addition, numerous activities are available that reinforce the program’s mission, purpose and expectations. 

FTCC’s 3M Program continues to grow, and FTCC hopes to make significant strides this school year. The Links Inc. and a group of dedicated volunteer mentors support the efforts of the program.  Equally encouraging has been the caliber of the mentees who have been participating. 

Young men who participate in the program will explore who they are as individuals, establish goals and identify resources necessary to help them reach those goals. It is the making of a better man. Learn more about the unique, life-changing opportunities available at FTCC by visiting www.faytechcc.edu or by visiting the  Fayetteville, Spring Lake or Fort Bragg campus locations.

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