Student Mentors

Meet our Student Mentors


Joelle Sanders


Hi! I am Joelle Sanders and I’m a Junior at WMU. I am a Sports Management Major with a minor in coaching. I’ve been with TRIO since my freshman year and love it as a second family. On campus I’m apart of numerous orgs some of which include BSU, Western Herald, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., etc. My strengths are Adaptability, Belief, Woo, Positivity, and Developer. I use these strengths to better learn and empathize to grow with others and within myself.


Olivia Griffin-Walker

My name is Olivia Griffin-Walker. I am now a Junior with a major in Film and a minor in Journalism. I am a first year co-facilitator and a MLK Academy Scholar. I chose to become a co-facilitator because I was told that I would be great in this position, I wanted a challenge and I really love making a difference in other people’s success.




DeUnique Dorris


My name is DeUnique Dorris, I am a second year at Western Michigan University. My major is youth and community Development, and my minors are African American Studies and Nonprofit Administration. I am the Director of outreach for WMU's Black Student Union, Vice President of WMU Open Mic. I am in a fellowship program for Nexgen Michigan, and I am a part of the MLK gold scholarship program. I also participate in WMU's CRU. I love TRIO and want to be one of the best supports, resources, and connections that are minimal stress and welcoming for new and returning students.


Zaria Bell 


Hi All! My name is Zaria Bell and this is my junior year here at Western! I am pursuing a degree in Film, Video, and Media studies with a minor in Graphic and Printing Science. Some of my hobbies include watching movies on Netflix, painting, editing videos, and reading conspiracy theories. TRIO has helped me tremendously in so many ways and wanted to do the same for other students as a mentor and an office aide. We will always have your back and is a place where you feel like you have a second family. One piece of advice for incoming students: Organization is key! Buy a planner, have designated notebooks for classes and set study times into your daily schedule so you can stay on top of your work. 


Jabez Jones


My name is Jabez Jones, a sophomore in my second year at western. I am from Detroit where I graduated from Cass Tech. I’m majoring in business and accounting and plan on using my time hear at western to enhance my photography skills and open doors in that direction for a career


April LaGrone


Hello! I’m April LaGrone. I’m a Sophomore studying Public Health. My hobbies include: Journaling, reading, and cooking. I became a TRIO Mentor primarily because of how much of a pillar TRIO has been since I became a student at Western. Working with DSS (Disability Student Services) to coordinate accommodations with professors can be so intimidating, so learning the skills to help me advocate for myself and knowing I had TRIO there for backup was huge. I’d love to provide that same motivation and encouragement for incoming students.


Valarie Ward


Hi everyone! I’m Valarie Ward. I am a sophomore here at Western, my major is social work and my minor is nonprofit administration. I am involved in TRIO SSP and Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society. In my free time I love getting Starbucks and watching Friends and painting pictures.


DaJon Fisher


Hello, My name is DaJon Fisher and this is my 4th and last year here at Western. My major is healthcare services and sciences with a minor in social work and business strategy and leadership. This year I will be a co-facilitator for the second time, but in past years I have been a program mentor for TRIO SSP.


Jailen Rutledge


Hi my name is Jailen Rutledge. I am a third-year student at Western Michigan University majoring in criminal justice with a minor in sociology. I love to meet new people and give guidance to people who needs advice. I look forwards to helping in any way I can possible.


Tina Conway


Hello, my name is Tina Conway. I’m a rising senior at Western Michigan University studying criminal justice and sociology as a double major with a minor in social work. At WMU I’m very involved, this semester I’ll be serving as a mentor for TRIO SSP, Director is Communications for the Black Student Union, President of the Black Criminal Justice Association and President of Her Untold Stories Heard. I’m super excited to get to know you guys have a great semester!


 Megan Higgins

My name is Megan Higgins, I'm a third year at WMU majoring in Aviation Management and Operations with a General Business Minor. On campus I am a member of Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Lambda Delta and served on the 2020 Hype Squad for Dance marathon. I'm super excited to be a TRIO Peer Mentor and can't wait to have an amazing year with everyone!


Zee Smith

Hi, my name is Zee and I am a third year here at Western. My major is Manufacturing Engineering Technology and my minor will be Metal Casting. During the three years that I have attended Western, I have been an active member in the Innovation club, working my way up from volunteer to member of the e-board.


Mairead Fagan

Hi! I’m Mairead Fagan. I’m a Sophomore and Public relations major with a minor in marketing. I wanted to be a mentor because before coming to western I never knew how huge of a deal it is to be a first-generation college student. Trio introduced me to this new perspective of confidence for myself in my learning and college career just by 1 year, I knew I wanted to be a part of it for the following years!!