Meet the Mentors

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Meet the Mentors!

Bio information to come!!

Kenean Tesfaye

Senior Mentor/Team Leader

Hometown: Saint Paul 

Major: PPE/Philosophy, Political Science & Economics

Family Background: My Family is from Ethiopia. 

Plans for after Graduation: I plan to graduate Spring of 2015

Advice for first-year students: Plan ahead.  

Why I chose to be a peer mentor: I enjoyed my past experience helping students. 

Why students should have a peer mentor: To be successful in their college careers.   

What I like about SSS: Very helpful in leadership and so much more

Fun Fact: My favorite food is pizza.  


Ebony Wilson-Sinkfield

Publicity & Communications Coordinator

Hometown: Saint Paul 
Major: Social Work     
Family Background: I am an African-American Women.

Plans for after Graduation: I would like to go to Grad school and try to get my Masters and maybe my PHD in Social Work and/or Psychology.
Advice for first-year students: The advice I would give to a first year student is to stay focused because once you get off track, it is hard to get back on track. I also think first year students should complete their homework a few days in advance to the due date, because you can get really stressed out if you wait until the last minute to complete an assignment, unless you are used to doing your homework at the last minute and you get good grades along with it. Also depending on the assignment it’s hard to give your best work when you do homework assignments at the last minute. 
Why I chose to be a peer mentor: I chose to be a peer mentor because I really like to help and see people succeed. I also believe everyone should have someone to go to if they are struggling or needs to talk to someone when school or life is getting difficult for them. 
Why students should have a peer mentor: I believe that all students should have a peer mentor sometime in their life because even though we try to say we don’t need any help, most of the time we stress out because we need the help we do not want. I believe that someone that comes into something that they have never done before such as a freshman need a peer mentor the most because they are experiencing college or whatever they are first experiencing for the first time and it can be really overwhelming. 
What I like about SSS: What I like most about Student Support Services (TRIO) is that everyone in the program tries to help to their best ability. The program and staff gives you so many opportunities and information that will help you get through college and beyond. 
Fun Fact: “Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of facts within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity.”      ----Calvin Coolidge
Fun fact about me: I have loved the color orange all my life and I don’t think I will ever stop loving the color. 


Kyi Kyi Htway  

Activities & Event Planner      

Hometown: St. Paul

Major: Ethnic Studies 

Plans for after Graduation:Work or graduate school

Advice for first-year students: Use your time wisely, study hard, join activities in school and try to have fun!

Why I chose to be a peer mentor:I want to help students and guide them through their struggles and their hard times during the school year. Also, finding the resources that will help them fulfill their school and making new friends. 

Why students should have a peer mentor:Peer mentor is a great way for students especially the first year student because we help do a lot of fun things around campus and also try to help students who need help!

What I like about SSS: I like all the staff and the students. Staff are always giving up their time to students and always be there for students when they need help. I also like how each of the students and staff are very cooperative with each other. 

Pang Nhia Thao

Activities & Event Planner

Hometown: Saint Paul, MN

Major: Pre-Social Work

Family Background: In a low-income consisting of seven children and two parents, my family live upon the daily support of the government's assistance. Even though they knew very little English, my parents always supported me and my siblings' education. As a first generation student, the statement of "education is the key to opening doors to a better future" was always a reminder for me to strive forward in attaining a higher education. 

Plans for after Graduation: After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work, work towards becoming a licensed social worker. I plan to start working and gain some experience as a social worker. After I become a licensed social worker, I want to continue my education and become a licensed graduate social worker and continue being a social worker as a career.

Advice for first-year students: As a first-year student, one of the best thing is to be active. Be active, look at the opportunities that MNSU-Mankato gives us. MNSU-Mankato not only provide a good education, but has many other for example: RSOs, Student Events Team, TRiO, etc. The college is also active on events and activities that are open to students to look forward to and enjoy. 

Why I chose to be a peer mentor: By being a peer mentor, I am not only benefiting TRiO's SSS program, but I am benefiting myself and the MNSU-Mankato students. I get to assist and advise students in assimilating to college. I also benefit myself as a peer mentor by staying active and communicating with other students. I get to build a strong connection through a program that once helped me accustomed to college.

Why students should have a peer mentor: Having a peer mentor is like a reliable source of information. Mentors were first-year students who experienced college life. I believe their role is to be of support to students.

What I like about SSS: I like the free assistance in SSS. Being a student in SSS, I received free food, tutoring, counseling, friends, and much more!

Zeng Vang

Mentor Generalist

Hometown: St. Paul    

Major: Ethnic Studies and Community Health

Family Background: My family originally from Thailand. In 2005, we were refugee to the United States. I am the first generation in my family going to school. 

Plans for after Graduation: After graduate from undergrad school, I will go to grad school for a master degree’s. 

Advice for first-year students: “Put a stone into the cup first, then the sand, before pouring the water into the cup, so it not overflow” by Jen. This is what I remember professor Jen says last spring semester. Which I think it is a very good advice for first year student. This can be interpret in many way depend on how you infer it. One way, I interpret as a student is put a goal set in your schedule first then your course schedule and time to complete your homework before your social time, so you don’t exaggerate yourself. 

Why I chose to be a peer mentor: I choose to be a peer mentor because I want to assist new student transitioning from high school to college. I want to serve as guidance to fellow peer in the peer connection program. Also being peer mentor is a great way to build network among peer and administrator. 

Why students should have a peer mentor: Students should have peer mentor because it is important to have someone who had experience the changes from high school to college to help guide first year student. Without having someone who had been through their first year in college to guide students, it is difficult to adjust to college. Having a Peer Mentor to talk to about college and to help guide first year students to adjust themselves to college, will be helpful.

What I like about SSS: I love the one-on-one tutor because meeting the same tutor every time, it help smooth things up