“SAGE” offers safe place for students
For senior mass communication major Marvin Barahona, transitioning into college life was a difficult time.
“When I came here I didn’t really know anybody and I didn’t really have many friends,” Barahona said.
That’s why Barahona got involved with Students Achieve Goals through Education (SAGE), a program that strives to help students make this transition smoothly by pairing both incoming freshmen and transfer students with a mentor who can assist them with whatever difficulties they may be having.
“SAGE was a good way to start getting involved and it helped me meet a lot of people,” Barahona, who is now a mentor himself, said.
The program is comprised of 36 mentors and 305 mentees, allowing each mentor to work closely with about eight students each semester.
“If the mentee has issues with classes, roommates, homesickness, resources or how to navigate around campus then that’s what this program helps to foster,” Coordinator of Student Success Programs Tammie King-Kelly said.
Every Tuesday, SAGE also hosts various programs created and carried out by the SAGE mentors.
“This semester we are challenging our mentors to be more in control of the programming as a whole and just tightening up on making sure that each program the students come away with something,” King-Kelly said. “Whether it’s content or some interaction or meeting new people, we want to make sure that we are not doing a program just because we need to do a program on Tuesdays.”
On Tuesday, SAGE hosted their welcome back program entitled “Spring Back!” where Director of Student Success Programs Raft Woodus spoke to members about the plans for the upcoming semester.
The mentor and mentee process was also thoroughly explained for the new members.
“We are excited to meet our mentees and keep in touch with them and keep SAGE going for this whole semester,” mentor, senior and molecular biology major Michael Okebugwu said.
SAGE also has several upcoming events this month including “Cracking the “CODE” to Success” scheduled for Feb. 18.
“During this event the library and the writing center will come to talk about different resources that they offer and we also have different interactions and games that are there,” mentor, junior psychology and sociology major Melissa Pearson said.
They will also be hosting two culturally-focused events this month, “African Heritage” Feb. 11 and “African American Heritage” Feb. 25, which focus on the experiences of blacks in the United States as well as the different cultures of Africa.
“My event is about African Heritage, we are going to talk about African roots, break the stereotype, enlighten them about what Africa is all about and also make it fun with food and African dancing,” Okebugwu said.
The SAGE program and its mentors focus on the diverse community in Towson, enlightening students to the various cultures and customs represented on campus.