Participant Testimonials

The participants featured on this page are just a small percentage of the overall Mentoring for Success Program participant population. The program was formerly known as the Steps Toward Exhibiting Mastery Program. References to the former name will be found in older testimonials.

"[My mentor] was a very great mentor; she always helped me out when I needed it and was very understanding. She was respectful at all times and made me feel very comfortable during each meeting. June also ensured I understood the assignments I needed help on and replied whenever I had a question and would message her."
– Esperanza Elizondo, first-year, criminal justice studies and psychology, 2020

"My mentor is a wonderful person and tutor. She not only helps me with my calculus but also helps, keeping me on track for my other classes, with advice for the real world, and a friend to talk about what going on in my personal life. [My mentor] not only is a wonderful person but her character is amazing as well. Furthermore she always listens to what I’m saying without judging and tries to see things how I see them. [My mentor] was also amazing by being so flexible on when we met and always letting me change the time if I had to."
– Tylor Tessmer, first-year, engineering design technology, 2020

"[My mentor] is really nice and I like that he talks in a calm tone of voice."
– Dorien R. Watts, first-year, biomedical sciences, 2020

"I love my mentor! She is smart and very helpful. We are both immigrants coming from two separate cultures and backgrounds; however, we still have a great connection. I love having a mentor that understands me and my struggles. We are definitely going to be friends after this!!"
– Jacelyne Myrthil, sophomore, undecided, 2020

"[My peer mentor] is wonderful. I am very pleased with her approach in tutoring with respect to how she listens and customizes the best style that works for the student, me. I like to plan a project for us to do each session for it to be productive such as reading strategies or test taking. We'll do that and we'll talk about how my class is going and different things that may concern me or things I want to know about that will help me be a successful student at WMU and I like that. Additionally, I like how she makes herself available and accessible in ways that is convenient or work best for me and I like this and it means a lot. It may take her a moment she told me this because she has other students and obligations and work a job as well. Of course! Knowing that we stay in communication and respect each others time and stay on task when we meet was established at the beginning which is makes us be a great team, and I'm happy! Just thought I'd share this with you to let you know how much I appreciate [my peer mentor] and wanted to recognize her efforts to support students and being supportive in my success at WMU and a new member of Team Jennifer!"
– Jennifer Mitchell, senior, university studies, 2019

"[My peer mentor] not only gave help for my sociology class, she also gave great advise when I was struggling in other classes, and was able to answer a lot of little questions I had about how the university works overall! Thank you!"
– Zoe H. Bowers, first-year, pre-nursing, 2018

"[My peer mentor] was very friendly and warm. She had a very in-depth knowledge of the material and helped me figure out my career and school path while I am here. She helped me gain connections with students, teachers, and faculty. I am extremely grateful that she was my peer mentor."
– Taylor Thorpe, sophomore, pre-psychology and fine arts, 2018

"Peer mentoring really helped me throughout the year and it’s a really good program!!"
– Brittany Thompkins, first-year, criminal justice, 2018

"It was one of the best programs; without it I wouldn't have ever had such a great first-year college experience."
– Hortencia Velasco, first-year, pre-accountancy, 2018

"[My peer mentor] has been a great help to my success at WMU. Part of the reason I am where I am today is because of her. With her help, I am confident that I can reach my goal."
– Breonna Alexander-Daugherty, sophomore, university studies, 2017

"Being able to have a mentor was something that has benefited me the most during my time here at WMU. My mentor was so flexible with his hours in meeting with me and even with helping me with other classes completely different from the one we had scheduled for."
– Justine Ramos, sophomore, pre-psychology, 2016

"I was skeptical with signing up for Mentoring for Success but once my mentor contacted me I knew that I would actually benefit from being a part of the program. Ever since the first meeting, my mentor has made sure to encourage me to keep studying and practicing and not to give up on my French course. There were a few times I wanted to drop the course because I was not making the progress I wanted to but I listened to my mentor's words and was able to stick through and succeed. Also, working with my mentor never felt like an unbearable challenge. If I did not understand something, he helped me to understand without making me feel dumb, and he always made sure that I felt I was getting the most out of our meetings."
– Realite Peebles, junior, behavioral science, 2016

"[My mentor] is amazing at figuring out ways to help me with my Spanish. He is also so very patient and understanding as I stumble and stutter to get my sentences across. [My mentor] has provided a comfortable setting in which I feel I am not judged, which makes me feel more comfortable speaking Spanish."
– Jamie D. Bradford, sophomore, tourism and travel, 2016

"[My mentor] was a great mentor! Although I was not able to continue with the class for the whole semester due to personal reasons, he was a great help!"
– Emily M. Christensen, junior, biology and chemistry, 2015

"[My mentor] is very resourceful. She knows where I can go to ask for help if she cannot help me with the subject. She has helped me a lot with that class and with other classes as well. Because of her I am successful in my other classes also."
– Lesly C. Francisco Domingo, freshman, criminal justice and Spanish, 2014

"Having [my mentor] as my peer mentor has helped me a lot. Before I had her I was failing that class. Now I have a 78% in my class. I feel that she knows a lot in this subject and I want to have her in the next semester if possible. She has been very helpful to me."
– Lesly C. Francisco Domingo, freshman, criminal justice and Spanish, 2014

"My mentor is a great mentor. I am thankful that she was assigned to me as a mentor. She explains things very well and comes up with great examples."
– Azusena R. Nevares, junior, social work, 2014

"Overall my experience with the program was great and I was able to receive help on concepts I did not understand. My meetings with my mentor were consistent and my mentor was very flexible. I enjoyed this experience and would recommend her to continue being a mentor."
– Lupita A. Robles, freshman, occupational therapy, 2014

"[My mentor] was a great peer mentor. He was always willing to help, and he would do three different examples of the question till I understood it better. He has the patience and the humor to help students. We would not only meet once per week but two, he was always willing to work extra study hours around his schedule."
– Virginia Delgado, freshman, nursing, 2014

"I really like that it is so flexible with schedules. I know for classes I would try to go to the tutoring they set up but it was so complicated with my schedule that I couldn't. With my STEM mentor it is so much easier. I also like the reward system they set up."
– Jenna Johns, freshman, biology, 2014

"The best part about STEM is the incentives they give for meeting up with student's mentors. The fact that STEM gives students reward cards is great. This way they can study and feel good about it because they are being rewarded. Not to mention you have promising mentors who actually are a big help."
– Jaren Bell, freshman, management, 2014

"What I like best about STEM is how beneficial it has been to me. I feel my grade wouldn't be as good as it is right now if I weren't in the STEM Program. Also, my tutor is very positive, helpful, and friendly."
– Caesar Ortiz, freshman, social work, 2014

"I actually looked forward to my tutoring sessions every week. They were very helpful and fun."
– Samantha Miller, freshman, psychology, 2013

"I wish this program was more widely known. Many advisers and instructors I have talked to had no idea this program even existed. While my grades may not be a lot higher this semester, understanding of complex material is better than it was last year. If I had known about this program in fall 2012 I may not have landed on academic probation. I found out about this program from another student at a conference not related to school."
– James R. Greene, freshman, chemistry, 2013

"[My peer mentor is] very helpful, knows material very well, and wants the students she tutors to succeed in their subjects."
– Darrell Freeman, junior, exercise science, 2013

"[My peer mentor] is an amazing mentor and I would never have been able to pass the class without his help. Thanks. You rock!"
– Salena A. Siragusa, junior, marketing and German, 2013

"Overall my tutor was great. If she was unable to explain something to me and have me understand, she would come back to the next meeting with more information and different ways to explain those concepts."
– Ivan Omar Olivas-Diaz, senior, Japanese, 2013

"My peer mentor explained concepts to me that I would have a hard time figuring out on my own. This individual cares about her students and makes sure they can get the best grade possible. It is very comforting having some who believes in you. This program is blessed to have this peer mentor with them, and I see a very bright and successful future for this individual."
– Robert G. Cox, junior, biomedical sciences, 2012

“My tutor has helped me an enormous amount in both my statistics and philosophy classes. He helped me achieve the grade I wanted and gave me the confidence that I could do it. I am extremely thankful that Western has a program like this because it helps you receive the individualized attention that is sometimes needed in order for you to succeed.”
– Elizabeth Kapala, sophomore, pre-interdisciplinary health services, 2011

“My tutor is an extraordinary person and she does a great job helping me. This is the second semester I signed up with STEM, and I didn't think twice about signing up with the same tutor. She does an excellent job helping me understand the materials I have trouble with. This semester I believe I have one of the hardest courses I have ever taken in my career, but thanks to her I am doing better than what I would have done without her. My tutor is of great help and if it weren't for her I would probably be lost.”
– Miguel Flores, sophomore, pre-business, 2011

“[My tutor] is an amazing tutor. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have had his help with my organic chemistry classes this past summer. If it had not been for [him] I would never have even passed these classes. [He] took the time to meet me almost every single day this past summer for as long as I needed. Sometimes our sessions would last up to five hours. He is one of the smartest people I have ever met. He was able to explain the concepts I was to learn better than my teachers would. Although I would sometimes get frustrated with the material, [he] was always patient with me and would go over the material with me as much as I needed to, [in order for me] to understand it fully. I have had many STEM tutors and in my opinion, [he] is the best tutor on your staff. He is an incredibly kind person who helped me more than he even knows and I am so grateful for it.”
– Jillian Gecewicz, senior, biomedical sciences, global and international studies, chemistry and Arabic, 2011

"[My tutor] has been my ... tutor in the subjects of economics and accounting for two semesters in a row. I am impressed with her positive attitude toward learning and her devotion to helping me learn the subjects that I have trouble in. I realize the importance of her own studies as well as many of the STEM tutors' busy schedules, but I am pleased to say that I always feel [her] patience [during] our times together. I feel that she pushes me to achieve my academic goals, but is also very personable and encouraging about my personal growth in college."
– Katherine DeWolf, sophomore, management, 2011

"[My tutor] is one of the smartest individuals [whom] I have ever met in my life. He understands everything that we go over. If I don't understand the topic he will patiently go over the material in different ways to help me connect the dots. I could not have been any luckier to be assigned [him] as my tutor. [He] is always prepared and is always on top of things, not to mention that he is one of the nicest guys I have ever met in my life. He will be very successful in the future and the company that gets the pleasure to work with him is unbelievably lucky. I wish [he] would stay until I graduated! He has helped me SO much these past semesters. I cannot thank him, and STEM, enough!"
– Robert G. Cox, junior, biomedical sciences, 2011

"My STEM tutor helped with me understand my coursework and also helped me prepare for exams and quizzes. Since I have been a part of the STEM Program my grades have improved a lot."
– Chanel Ciara Marshall-Sewell, sophomore, elementary education, 2011

"[My tutor last semester] was more than an excellent math tutor to me; he was also a source of inspiration and confidence. Growing up, I have always thought of math as my weakest subject and in order to do well I had to devote a lot of time working to understand concepts by practicing problems. Naturally, college-level pre-calculus was very intimidating and anxiety provoking for me, especially knowing that a large majority of students drop out or fail in that class.

Thankfully, I was able to get a tutor through the STEM Program. He was very flexible with my schedule and was always willing to meet with me as many times as I felt needed. His superior math abilities helped him explain every problem thoroughly. He had me try to do problems on my own and patiently listened to my perspectives and ideas of ways to solve a problem. Even if he was unsure of how to solve a problem, he would figure it out on his own time and explain it to me during our next meeting.

Most importantly, [he] went the extra mile by encouraging me; no one had ever believed in my math skills as much as him. [He] genuinely cared about my performance and gave me the confidence I needed to do well. With that confidence I was not only able to get a BA and a full understanding of the class material but was able to propel myself forward as an individual as well. [He] was a big influence on me and I am greatly thankful that I got the opportunity to be tutored by him through the STEM Program."
– Dana Goetz, sophomore, psychology, 2011

"My tutor not only helped me with my homework, but he also helped me understand the homework in a way that helped me to better retain the information that the professors talked about. He also helped me by acting as a co-pilot for a couple of my flights. Overall, I would give the STEM Program an A+ and I would suggest to anyone having trouble or just wanting to get better grades in classes to sign up for STEM."
– Christopher McCann, sophomore, aviation science and administration, 2011

"My tutor was extremely patient and never rushed me. He made sure I got the correct answer in a timely matter. I felt completely comfortable with him and felt that he was really involved with my learning experience. It was evident that my grade mattered to him."
– Alexandra M. Prasauskas, freshman, civil engineering, 2010

"I absolutely loved [my tutor] and I received an 'A' on every paper in my English class. I am very pleased with this program and the students involved."
– Ashley L. Zeitz, freshman, elementary education, 2010

"[My tutor] went out of his way to help me."
– Mickey Hanson, senior, accounting, 2010

"[My tutor] was the best and I received an 'A' in the class. I hate math, but she made it fun and I was able to learn the material from her."
– Kimlay Duncan, senior, social psychology, 2010

"[My tutor] was seriously the best tutor ever! He really made sure I understood everything and was really patient with me and really flexible with my schedule. He was extremely knowledgeable on the material and if we couldn't find the answer to something he went the extra mile and offered to look up the answer on the Internet and then would further explain it to me.

I know that he is also a busy student and I really appreciated him taking all the extra time to make sure I understood everything. I know it's really easy to just tutor a student and then leave when the hour is done, but I could tell he genuinely cared and wanted to make sure I did well. It was really good getting to know him and he was a really nice guy!"
– Megan Jerant, sophomore, secondary education-Spanish, 2010

"I really enjoyed and looked forward to studying with [my tutor] instead of class!"
– Kristan Young, senior, interdisciplinary health services, 2010

"My tutor helped me more than words can explain. Going into the first tutoring session I was having so much trouble and over the course of our meetings I finally have an understanding of the subject. Thank you so much!"
– Sarah Thorpe, freshman, psychology, 2010

"She was a great tutor and I would definitely recommend her to other students. I have never been more impressed. She also helped me get my grade one letter grade higher!"
– Kelli Klinger, freshman, pre-sales and business marketing, 2010

"I had a very positive experience with having a tutor. I feel it has helped me very much with my classes...I feel very privileged to have had such wonderful tutors who have helped me out so much. Thank you to the program for allowing me to have tutors in classes that I struggle with."
– Melissa McPherson, freshman, pre-finance, 2009

"[My tutor is] great! My grade has improved almost 3 whole letter grades with his help."
– Danyela Hickey, sophomore, biomedical sciences and chemistry, 2009

"I would be so lost if I did not have the STEM program. I have a disability, so having this [program] helps me a lot."
– Courtney Noack, sophomore, family studies, 2008

"Even if I had the money to pay for a tutor I would rather [he/she] be from STEM, because they provide tutors that are a reflection of Western Michigan University. ...With this program, I get a tutor who is willing to help me and, if for some reason I am not compatible with a tutor, they are more than willing to find a better fit for me. Every semester they check to make sure that my needs are met and if I need a tutor for the following semester. These qualities are hard to find in one department, let alone one program."
– Tiffany DeMyers, junior, biomedical sciences and Latin, 2008

"College is expensive, and being a full-time student working part time, it is hard to pay for some of the smallest things. The STEM program takes away the worry of coming up with enough money to pay for a tutor."
– Erica Biehler, junior, biomedical sciences, 2008

"In some of my classes, I feel like my tutors have helped me learn more than my professors. I cannot imagine what I would do without them next year."
– Kim-Lien Huynh, sophomore, biochemistry, 2008

"When addressing my problem or concern, in an assertive way, my tutor will explain it in full detail, very sufficient and in-depth, until I am confident in what I am taught."
– Sara Stephens, freshman, biology, 2008

"I liked that my tutor would explain something to me, and if I did not understand, she would explain it a different way."
– Ebonee Kelly, freshman, pre-finance, 2008

"I am being helped by someone who understands the subject very well and has the time and patience to explain every little thing to me. …If it were not for tutoring, there would be a lot of material I would not fully comprehend." 
– Ariana Gasca, freshman, biomedical sciences, 2008

"If STEM was no longer a program offered at WMU, I truly believe that my grades would suffer. If college students want to succeed, sometimes supplements or extra help is needed!"
– Abigail Sowers, freshman, pre-nursing, 2008

"I consider myself a good student, but there are certain classes that any good student will struggle with, and I am lucky to have help from STEM."
– Rachel Banach, junior, exercise science, 2008

"There is no way I could have done as well as I did in chemistry and pre-calculus during the summer. ...I think that [my tutor] went above and beyond, and it showed, because my grades turned out great."
– Clayton James, senior, psychology, 2008

"Going to the 2008 women's leadership conference in D.C. was one of the most informative and enlightening experiences that I have had throughout my college career. I was given the opportunity to meet brilliant, selfless, and dignified women, who provided me with a wealth of knowledge that I will carry with me forever.

While at the conference, I was able to participate in two workshops. The workshops provided resume and job interviewing tips, as well as helpful advice on how to be confident in the workplace. Also, I participated in a community service project at the Capitol Area Food Bank, where I worked in a team with other women to provide groceries for underprivileged senior citizens in the Maryland area.

Attending the conference provided me with knowledge that will be helpful as I enter the business world after college, as well as compassion and willingness to help others throughout the rest of my life. I am so glad that I was given this opportunity and am very thankful to all who made it possible for me."
– Dominique Abrams, senior, advertising and promotion, 2008

"Having a chance to participate in the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders was a truly wonderful and informative experience. I met wonderful, determined women from around the world that will make a difference in their lifetime. I learned not to sit and watch someone else make a change but to always stand up for what I believe in. This opportunity was one that I consider a blessing. I greatly appreciate and thank all who allowed it to come true. Thank you so much, STEM, for a wonderful learning experience and most importantly a wonderful memory."
– Jessica Abrams, sophomore, social work, 2008